It is immoral for the government to “take from the rich” and “give to the poor”.
While any individual might donate some of their money, possessions, time, or talent to the betterment of others who have less, charity is a unilateral thing… it is at the complete option of the giver. It is, however, OUR moral duty to provide such help to others. Us, as individuals… of our own volition. Collectively, the U.S. has excelled in this regard. Despite what many are led to believe by a manipulative media or the lies of other governments, we are the most “giving” people on the planet. All you have to do is look at the facts.
But, when the government chooses to fund entitlement programs (more on this definition later), it is inappropriately taking the property of the rich… in essence, stealing… and redistributing it to others (who may or may not actually be “poor”). When the giver no longer has the CHOICE to give or not, it is no longer charity. When discussing this topic, it’s important to use the correct words… and such activities should not be confused with actual charity.
In addition, there are inherent problems with government programs that become “entitlements”, which are programs that have promised benefits to SOME of the people… as opposed to the true function of government, which is to provide benefits for ALL of the people (such as assembling a representative form of government, protecting the nation with an armed force, implementing an unbiased judicial system through which the law is administered, and other such Constitutional duties). When government programs start to provide for the welfare of individuals, it becomes problematic: the recipients become inclined to depend on such support (and less motivated to “make it on their own”), a bureaucracy becomes necessary to administer the program (yet more government “overhead”… and one with an incentive to perpetuate and grow itself), and the inevitable attraction of those who will “game” the system or engage in outright fraud.
An aside: there are cases where GENERATIONS of families have been recipients of welfare. This is a deplorable situation and points out that such programs FAIL in their goals.
Not only is it immoral for government to be in the “charity business” (fund entitlement programs), I’ve explained before that it is DANGEROUS for any country to go past the “tipping point” where there are more net tax “takers” than net tax “payers”… that is, where are more VOTERS receiving benefits from the government than there are voters paying for those benefits. If that situation is allowed, the takers will ALWAYS vote for more benefits for themselves until a breaking point is reached… where there the tax payers can not or will not pay any more tax, in which case there is either a revolt or the system collapses into pure government control.
To keep this situation in check, the best solution would be to restrict all such programs to some maximum percentage of government spending. Historically, churches have asked individuals to tithe 10% to help others. So, how about limiting government spending on such programs to 10%? If there are a finite number of dollars to “help others”, hopefully a better job will be done to ensure those who are MOST in need are helped… not just anyone who can check the right box (if you know what I mean).
Perhaps this approach will lead to greater efficiency… but the REAL objective is to limit the possibility of a faction of the public to be “persuaded” to vote for a party promising more benefits which would be paid for by someone else.