Americans are indeed charitable, without question the most generous people on the planet. Whether helping tsunami victims halfway around the world, or rebuilding hurricane ravaged communities right in their own back yard, nobody gives more of their money, and their time, than Americans. And remember that these are private citizens who get out their own checkbooks to help the needy.
Unfortunately, most liberals seem to think that "charity" is hiring the IRS to pillage the bank accounts of the nation's most successful people, so they can hand it out to those they deem worthy. This is what the Left really means by the term "social justice" - their latest euphemism for Marxist income redistribution.
Further exacerbating the situation is that the exploding American welfare state is no longer restricted to the small percentage of Americans who might be considered genuinely in need. Today, "entitlements" like Social Security and Medicare make up two thirds of the Federal budget, and half of the population is receiving some kind of government handout - we now have over 40 Million people on food stamps. And many states, like the nation itself, are going broke and drowning in debt. There simply isn't enough money.
Ah, but annoying Hollywood blowhard Michael Moore claims to have the solution: just keep jacking up the taxes on those "wealthiest Americans" that today's neo-Marxists hate so much. You know, just until they are paying their "fair share" (another focus-group tested term). But given that (according to IRS records) the top 10% of income earners already pay more than 70% of all the income taxes (while the bottom 50% of Americans pay zero) one wonders just how much, in their view, constitutes a "fair share."
Another excuse that liberals often use for their assault on success is that "those in the upper income brackets have benefited the most from society" so they should pay the most. "Benefited?" Such a clever use of language frames success as something that "happens" to certain people just because they live here - as if drive, talent, long hours, hard work, risk taking, and ambition have nothing to do with it. They just "won life's lottery" - another phrase used by liberals, including Vice President Joe Biden, to downplay individual achievement and to promote class envy.
This is nonsense. Even those who inherited their money benefited, not from "society," but from the efforts of their parents and grandparents who created the families wealth in the first place. Anyone who's ever put up everything they own to start a business, or worked 80 hour weeks to claw their way to the top of a Fortune 500 company, knows full well what it takes to succeed. So would liberal politicians, if they ever actually ran a business, or held a real job.
The reality is that successful people do not "benefit from society" - on the contrary, it is society that benefits from the them. "The rich" create jobs, produce products and services that people genuinely want. They donate to charities, and yes, they pay taxes, too, lots of them. Meanwhile, it is those in the lower income brackets who actually take from society. While paying little or no taxes, these are the very freeloaders and parasites who line up around the block for every government give-away that politicians can dream up.
And dream them up they do. Democrats long ago discovered that taking from one person and giving to another is a sure path to public office, especially in urban areas like Chicago and Detroit. As the old saying goes, "Anyone who robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on Paul's vote."
Today, there are plenty of "Pauls" who see nothing wrong with excessive taxation of high income earners (meaning of course, anyone but them). I recently heard a liberal woman claim that robbing "the rich" is perfectly OK because it was the result of "the democratic process" and as such "is the will of the majority." She seems to forget that slavery was once "the will of the majority" - that didn't make it right. She also went on to spout all of the above-mentioned rationalizations in defense of confiscatory taxation. Disturbingly, she is not alone. With almost every TV show echoing the Democrat theme of disparaging the wealthy and successful, more and more average Americans have been succumbing to the "tax the rich" propaganda campaign.
We've already created a tax system that is so biased against the successful that it may be too late - we have more people sucking at the government teat than we have people paying the bills. So it is certainly possible that the neo-Marxists could con a majority of Americans into going along with them in further attacks on the rich. But even it they do, punishing our most successful and productive citizens is not, and never will be, a "shared American value."
At least, not among real Americans.