In 2008, Americans gave $300 billion to charity (over 90% of Americans, and this is over and above tax “contributions”).
For comparison, the federal government in 2008 spent $66 billion on education, $49 billion on housing and urban development, $59.9 billion on labor programs, $65 billion on transportation, $8 billion (directly) at the EPA (environmental regulations cost over $300 billion each year), $6 billion for the National Science Foundation and $18 billion for NASA. In other words, the total of all of these programs is $272 billion.
Oh yeah, all of those important (in the view of many) items above? Less than 10% of the $3 trillion budget for 2008.