Progressives, Caring, and Politics

Arthur C Brooks’ 2007 book, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, contains a trove of data that indicate conservatives give more to charity—even after taking out church-related giving—than do Progressives.  This is substantiated by a 2008 Gallup poll covering 2008 in which the polling data indicate that Conservatives donated 3.5% to 4.5% of their incomes to charitable endeavors, whereas Liberals donated just 1.25% to 1.5%.

And now there’s this from The Washington Post concerning the Solyndra fiasco and the Progressive loans for greens program.  The Post went through some thousands of memos, company records, and internal ­e-mails obtained from the Obama administration in an effort to understand the underpinnings of that loan and the motivations underlying the Department of Energy’s general lending practices.  Although nominally about supporting development of “green” energy and “green” jobs, the Solyndra loan, and apparently DoE’s support for “green” loans, was driven more by politics and political optics than anything else.

The documents reviewed demonstrate that, as Solyndra began to falter and its imminent failure became increasingly obvious, administration officials worried almost exclusively about political fallout and the impact that the company’s failure could have on President Obama’s re-electability.  Indeed, The Post reports that

Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-energy technology.

Ryan Alexander, of Taxpayers for Common Sense, expands on this:

What’s so troubling is that politics seems to be the dominant factor.  They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse.  What they are talking about is “How are we going to manage this politically?”

There’s also a lot of crony capitalism revealed in The Post‘s reporting, but that’s not unique to this administration or to Progressives; rather, the point in this context is the callousness of the Progressives (who piously demand taxation for wealth redistribution in their Roman Circus-like pandering, in contrast to their attitude toward personal charitable giving, and toward the human fallout of their policies).

Now it’s certainly true that a program must be politically feasible, or government can’t do it, no matter how legitimate it may be for government to have that program.  But political consideration to the exclusion of any concern at all for the harm done to the flesh and blood people that do the work associated with the program?

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