Can private charity replace the social safety net?

After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday came Giving Tuesday. Over the last few years, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving has become the unofficial launch of the charitable season, when many people around the globe focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

The outpouring of generosity during the giving season raises the question of why all charity can’t be funded privately. Do we even need a government social safety net anymore?

Answering that question begins with determining the replacement cost of that safety net. What percent of the federal budget goes to programs that provide aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship? Forty percent? Thirty percent? Twenty percent?

The actual answer is nine percent of the federal budget, or $366 billion.

Read the full story at Acton Institute. 
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