Elton John On His Charity Work: Government Should Be Doing Our Job For Us But They’re Not

By Nicholas Ballasy | November 16, 2010 | 2:35 PM EST

Elton John performs. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The World TeamTennis annual charitable exhibition, held this year in Washington, raised more than $500,000 to fight HIV and AIDS through Sir Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. When asked what the federal government should do to encourage more individuals to donate to charities like his, Sir Elton John told CNSNews.com that “government should be doing our job for us” but "they’re not."

He added that the government does not need to “give money to us to give away” but they “should be giving money.”

“The federal government here has done something, they’ve given a full needle exchange program this year which is great. We’ve been on about this; it’s been one of our big talking points and one of our big bees in our bonnet that there hasn’t been a needle exchange program,” he said during a press conference before the tennis matches, featuring tennis stars Andrea Agassi, Anna Kournikova, Martina Navratilova and Rennae Stubbs.

“The government has done that this year and we applaud them heartily for doing that. They don’t really need to give, they don’t need to give money to us to give away, they should be giving money – I set up this charity so that I could help people and a lot of charities are set up, by you know, the Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, the Clinton Foundation because they want to help people and it seems that individuals are trying to help people where as government should be doing our job for us but unfortunately they’re not. So we’ve got to step up to the plate and try to do as much as we can. But I have to say that they did implement the needle exchange program this year which is a huge step forward.”

Sir John also said that while he finds the current political climate in the United States as "perplexing," he praised America for the success it has provided for him.

"I love this country," he said. "It's been the greatest country. It's given me everything I've ever had."

Sir Elton John, who teams up with former tennis star Billy Jean King to hold the exhibition each year, has raised $10 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.