Mike Kueber's Blog

February 20, 2012

Unfairly picking on Rick Santorum’s charitable giving

Filed under: Culture,Issues,People,Politics,Religion — Mike Kueber @ 12:28 pm
Tags: , ,

A blog in last week’s Washington Post contrasted Mitt Romney’s and Rick Santorum’s financial habits based on a review of their recently disclosed tax returns.  The major point made by the blog posting was that Santorum “gave a shockingly tiny amount to charity.”  Oh, really?  Since when is giving 3% of your income to charity “shockingly tiny”?  The posting concedes that the American average is 2%, but then argues that the super-rich give an average of 3.4%.  So Santorum gives 0.4% less than the average super-rich person – big deal. 

Santorum’s giving, however, does pale in comparison to that of Romney, who tithes to his church.  In addition to his 10% tithe, Romney gives an additional 6% to other charities.  This combined rate of 16% a year is highly commendable, but it doesn’t justify the suggestion from the Post blog writer that Santorum is a hypocrite:

  • I focus on the charitable giving because so much of Santorum’s career and a good deal of his writing focus on faith-based charities. So why did he personally give so little to the groups he lauds?  For someone who lectures his fellow citizens about parenting and contraception, he deserves to be scrutinized for what appears to be a glaring inconsistency in his own behavior. He talks the talk, but does he walk the walk? These tax returns suggest not.”

Unfortunately, social conservatives are often held to a higher standard by those who don’t like being lectured.



  1. I have a genuine question…Do you believe that a man who has absolute, farthest part of the universe rightest of the right views on all social issues, could be considered a hypocrite for following all parts of the Bible to a tee, except for the financial aspects? That just doesn’t make sense.

    Comment by rightissowrong — February 20, 2012 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

    • I was raised a Catholic, and we didn’t do a lot of Bible study. So I’m not sure how unambiguous the Bible is about tithing.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — February 20, 2012 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

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