The president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks, has been writing, based on social science survey data, that conservatives give more to charity than liberals do:
Contrary to the liberal stereotype of the hard-hearted right-winger, opposition to income-leveling is not evidence that one does not care about others. Quite the contrary. The millions of Americans who believe in limited government give disproportionately to others.
Ann Coulter takes this argument to the next level by naming names:
In the decade before Joe Biden became vice president, the Bidens gave a total -- all 10 years combined -- of $3,690 to charity, or 0.2 percent of their income. They gave in a decade what most Americans in their tax bracket give in an average year, or about one row of hair plugs.
Of course, even in Biden's stingiest years, he gave more to charity than Sen. John Kerry did in 1995, which was a big fat goose egg. Kerry did, however, spend half a million dollars on a 17th-century Dutch seascape painting that year, as Peter Schweizer reports in his 2008 book, "Makers and Takers."
To be fair, 1995 was an off-year for Kerry's charitable giving. The year before, he gave $2,039 to charity, and the year before that a staggering $175.
The Coulter column is based on Peter Schweizer's book Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less, and even hug their children more than liberals.
I don't necessarily believe charitable giving is a perfect measure of virtue. There are plenty of destructive and poorly managed charities out there. But there are plenty of good ones, too.