In a recent meeting of Liberty Toastmasters, I was asked a “table topics” question about what role, if any, the government should have in charity.
Of course, I’m not opposed to private charity and I donate money and volunteer my time for causes that matter to me. However, I reject any government charity as a violation of rights. Social Security and Medicare should be phased out, as should food stamp programs, government schools, and every other program that extracts dollars from taxpayers to redistribute them to the needy.
Unfortunately, that position is often taken as opposing all charity, wishing to grind the poor into the dirt, hating the children, etc. For many, to oppose government charity is to oppose charity per se.
Much to my delight, in the process of offering my answer, I realized that I could effectively communicate my view with the “separation of” formula. So I called for a “separation of charity and state.” That really resonated with the people in the group — and for good reason, I think. On further reflection, I only like it more, and I expect to use it regularly. If you like it, by all means, make it your own!