Philanthropic contributions are usually tax-free. They directly reduce the government’s ability to engage in public spending. Perhaps the government should demand a role in charities’ allocation of resources in exchange for the tax deduction. Or maybe the deduction should go altogether. Experts estimate that tax breaks motivate 25 percent to 30 percent of contributions.
In any event, social needs, like those health clinics, are not about charity. They are a necessity. America needs a government that can and will pay for them.
Two things come to mind when I read this. First, is the implicit admission that government spending is charity. Second, is that the NYT believes government is better at deciding how that charity should be distributed than individuals donating their own money. There's a name for a system like this - its called socialism.