President Barack Obama has made one final contribution to the fight against global warming on his way out the White House door. On Tuesday, Obama transferred $500 million to the UN's Green Climate Fund, a key program set up to finance climate change adaptation and renewable energy projects in developing countries. That's on top of another $500 million the Obama administration had already given to the fund.
There are undoubtedly hundreds, if not thousands, of such examples of a politician spending other people's money for causes that he or she deems worthy. But I would feel a lot more comfortable if people were given the choice when it comes to "worthy causes." Government should never be in the business of providing charity, because charity is an activity which is best left to the private sector. First, let people keep more of the money they earn. Then let them decide which worthy causes they would like to finance with their private and voluntary contributions. If "worthy causes" fail to raise the money they need, then those same causes might want to rethink how worthy they really are.