December 21, 2005

The Republicans' Immoral Budget

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 12:07 am

Update: The budget passed thanks to Cheney’s tie-breaking vote. Here is ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson’s statement regarding its passage.


While I haven’t blogged about it, I have been following the US non-defense budget process with a heavy heart. To recap: first, the House passed draconian cuts to services to the poor while protecting the pharmaceutical and managed care industries. The Senate passed a much more humane spending bill, but the bill coming out of conference kept many of the worst parts of the House version, while adding a few cuts of its own. The conference bill was released after 1:00 AM Monday morning. After only 40 minutes of debate, the House began voting on the conference bill at 5:43 AM with most members not even knowing what it contained.

From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of the bill::

Careful examination of the 774-page legislation shows that the conference agreement would, in fact, cause considerable hardship among low-income families and individuals. The legislation contains cuts in various areas, including Medicaid, that would directly affect low-income families and individuals and are closer to provisions in the original House-passed reconciliation bill than to the provisions of the Senate bill. This is due in no small part to action by the conferees to shield certain powerful special interests — principally pharmaceutical companies and the managed care industry — and instead to extract sizable savings from low-income families.


See the report for the details. Suffice it to say that it cuts benefits and increases copayments and premiums for Medicaid, imposes restrictive rules and unfunded mandates on states for welfare while cutting support for childcare, and cuts Social Security disability benefits. For starters.

If everyone were sharing the pain equally in the face of growing deficits, there would at least be a rationale for the cuts. But this budget eliminates collection of drug company rebates and allows overpayments to HMOs to continue. Clearly the big pharma and HMO political contributions to senior Republicans are paying off.

But of course what’s really wacko are the tax cuts making their way through the legislative process. From the American Prospect:

As many have noticed, the $51 billion cost of the House’s 2009 and 2010 capital gains and dividends tax cuts is almost exactly equal to the $50 billion that the House wants to cut from low-income health care programs, student loans, and so forth over the next five years. But don’t suppose that Republican politicians are even slightly embarrassed about taking money from the poor to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Or that they’ve woken up to the disastrous fiscal consequences of their tax-cutting zeal. On the contrary, they’re in total denial.

“By cutting taxes, . . . you generate an enhanced flow of revenues to the Treasury,” asserted California Republican Rep. David Dreier, chairman of the House Rules Committee, last week, calling “pathetic” those nerdy arithmeticians who suggest otherwise. “The deficit is down because tax revenues are up. Do not defeat this bill and raise taxes. Let’s stop tax increases,” chimed in Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, somewhat incoherently. “Tax relief for dividends and capital gains . . . has helped produce substantial additional revenues that have reduced the deficit,” claimed the White House.

It’s hard to tell if these people are loony or just totally cynical. For a reality check, consider some recent evidence. Quite simply, revenues are way down, not up, and deficits have skyrocketed, not diminished.

As for the idea that the tax cuts are stimulating the economy, Robert Samuelson, not known for his liberal views, thinks otherwise:

The 2001 and 2002 tax cuts probably cushioned the severity of the 2001 recession and its aftermath. But the White House is now arguing that its 2003 tax cut was critical in increasing economic growth. The centerpiece of that legislation was a cut in the maximum tax rate on corporate dividends to 15 percent. One aim was to raise stock prices by making shares more attractive. Higher stock values would then cause consumers to spend more — the wealth effect. But a new study by staff economists at the Federal Reserve finds little independent effect of the dividend tax cut on stock prices.

Even economists who dispute the study think the White House exaggerates. “It’s preposterous that the dividend tax cut created 4 million new jobs,” says Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute.

Simply put, the Republican budget and tax cuts are immoral. The budget cuts will cause suffering by the poorest amongst us, and the tax cuts will be paid for by debt that will be have to be paid back by our children.

This is why the leaders of the ELCA, UMC, PCUSA, ECUSA and UCC have all condemned the proposed budget. This is why 115 religious leaders were arrested while protesting the budget on Capitol Hill. This is why the National Council of Churches continues to oppose the budget.

But not all Christians are protesting this budget. From the Washington Post:

Conservative Christian groups such as Focus on the Family say it is a matter of priorities, and their priorities are abortion, same-sex marriage and seating judges who will back their position against those practices.

[…]

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said the government’s role should be to encourage charitable giving, perhaps through tax cuts.

“There is a [biblical] mandate to take care of the poor. There is no dispute of that fact,” he said. “But it does not say government should do it. That’s a shifting of responsibility.”

I don’t know what planet Mr. Perkins lives on, but every person I know who is involved in helping the poor and sick, whether in churches, homeless shelters, social service organizations, or non-profit hospitals, does not believe that charities can do it alone. The problem is too big and too vast for non-profits to tackle alone. It takes all of us.

What we need to do is to all work together to solve this problem, to come together as a community, as a country, to help the neediest among us. We need to all chip in to help out, and we should raise up leaders from among us to make the moral decisions and commit the resources to help those who need it.

And that, dear readers, is exactly what Americans have done in the past through our representative democracy, aka our government. Before “government” became a bad word, we looked to the government to help us do together what none of us could do alone — to feed the hungry and care for the sick. But thanks to the Republicans, “government” is what they use to reward their political donors while ignoring Jesus’s commandments to care for the least of these.

33 Comments

  1. I’m trying to think of how I would respond to this if I were a right-wing Republican, but I’m drawing blanks. Somebody help me out, here. If all charitable giving were to become voluntary, we would run the risk of too many people of means refusing to give anything and too many people going hungry. I mean, what about all the mean rich people who aren’t Christians and wouldn’t give any money? Can we rely totally on the altruistic, Christian rich to take care of it all? Can we afford that? The War on Poverty required a draft in the form of taxes. (Just like the “War” on “Terror” is going to require a military draft soon if it lasts too much longer without anyone telling us how we will know when we’ve “won.”)

    Comment by wildwest — December 21, 2005 @ 5:44 am

  2. “Conservative Christian groups such as Focus on the Family say it is a matter of priorities, and their priorities are abortion, same-sex marriage and seating judges who will back their position against those practices.”

    I think someone needs to send Dr. Dobson and company a copy of the parable of the sheep and goats.
    After all, I don’t remember “I tried to get an abortion, and you didn’t stop me” being amongst the charges brought up against the goats.

    Comment by Jarred — December 21, 2005 @ 2:43 pm

  3. I’ve been following this issue through the ELCA’s Advocacy network. It’s quite sad.
    Peace,
    Chris

    Comment by Chris — December 22, 2005 @ 6:09 am

  4. Bob writes:

    “Simply put, the Republican budget and tax cuts are immoral.”

    Ouch, more inclusiveness from the loving, tolerant Progressive Christian bunch!

    Bob quotes:

    “Conservative Christian groups such as Focus on the Family say it is a matter of priorities, and their priorities are abortion, same-sex marriage and seating judges who will back their position against those practices.

    “There is a [biblical] mandate to take care of the poor. There is no dispute of that fact,” he said. “But it does not say government should do it. That’s a shifting of responsibility.””

    First of all, I must note that the first statement is not a direct quote from Focus on the Family, rather it is a bit of a twist job to make Focus appear more judgmental than it likely was, if quoted in context, from Focus or a more balanced summary was applied.

    The second, actual quote is a legitimate Conservative viewpoint. I have, in the past on my own blog, made the case that there is room for the Body of Christ to have different priorities. The fact that “Progressive” Christians are making aid to the poor their priority is not considered a bad thing, no, it is a good thing. Progressive Christians assumption that their priorities are holier or more righteous than Conservative Christian priorities is where I have a beef with “Progressives.” Many progressives seem to support the right to dissent, freedom of speech, civil rights, etc., as long as that dissent and speech agrees with their own “Progressive” values, they fail to honor their brothers and sisters in Christ’s viewpoints on other vital and important issues in the political arena with which they happen to disagree. I have conceded that the agenda of the left concerning aid to the poor is an honorable one, though I do not agree with the method by which they seek to aid the poor.

    It seems to me that if the Christian Left appealed to the family of God as strongly, and with as much zeal, as they appeal to the government to aid the poor then they would be viewed as having a more consistent posture. What I see, however, is the Christian Left seeking to make the poor wholly dependent upon governmental aid and governmental support rather than appealing to it’s own members and all of the Christian Community to aid and support the poor. The Left seems to think it is the obligation of government, while the Right believe it is the obligation of the church. What makes this an inconsistent stance among Progressives is that they throw their support behind the secular left who is working to remove any vestige or implication that America is a Christian Nation and is seeking to undermine Christianity. The Christian Left is calling on that very Christian heritage and identification as a Christian Nation to support it’s position, which seems to say “If we are a Christian Nation then the government of this Christian Nation should be the mother tit for all the poor of the world.” Progressives generally support candidates who support the erroneous assumption that religious faith has no place in government and yet they promote the government as the answer to moral Christian issues. Inconsistencies abound. How do you reconcile them?

    I have no problem with you having different priorities for government than I, what would be nice is if, in the process, rather than judgement and condemnation directed toward your more Conservative brothers and sisters in Christ you displayed the same respect and consideration for our political and social burdens. That is what I, and your Conservative Christian counterparts, do not receive. You seem to want your cake and eat it too, you want to judge us for what you erroneously perceive as our judgement of others while holding yourselves above scrutiny as the “true” moral Christian. Well, excuse me, my political viewpoints differ from yours and I have legitimate reasons for my political viewpoints. As long as you refuse to admit that I even have legitimate reasons for my political viewpoints there can be no true discussion. I’ve never received the same concessions that I have offered you, why is that? Are you so much morally superior and holier than I that you cannot even offer that small concession, it certainly seems that way.

    Comment by Jacke — December 22, 2005 @ 7:23 am

  5. Jacke, are your questions for Bob or all of us who posted here?

    Comment by wildwest — December 22, 2005 @ 10:23 am

  6. wildwest, I was offering a conservative viewpoint, as you asked. I do not particularly view you as among those who judge and condemn your conservative brothers and sisters in Christ, however, that said, everyone is welcome to reply. 🙂

    Comment by Jacke — December 22, 2005 @ 10:51 am

  7. Thank you. I am glad your statements were not directed at me.

    Comment by wildwest — December 22, 2005 @ 11:17 am

  8. Sorry, Jacke, but I call ’em as I see ’em, and giving more tax cuts to the rich while cutting aid to the poor and increasing the national debt is immoral. Now I am not judging, but I am strongly disagreeing with those that see it differently. We each have our “bottom lines” that we can’t compromise on. One of yours is abortion. This is one of mine.

    Comment by Bob — December 22, 2005 @ 7:11 pm

  9. But, Bob, the Republicans are just doing what Jesus said. Didn’t you know? Jesus said the poor would always be with us and they are just making sure that not only do they remain with us, but that they are also very poor. They don’t care if they die of disease or starve to death. The culture of life is only for the unborn. Those who are already alive … whether dying from starvation, disease, war, state sanctioned execution, etc. … well, they are just out of luck.

    Comment by Angel — December 23, 2005 @ 5:22 am

  10. Now I want to make sure I understand you correctly, Jacke. The Bible in no uncertain terms condemns homosexuality, and it is the government’s duty to enforce that stricture by refusing to recognize gay marriages. But the biblical command to care for the poor should remain voluntary, and the government should have no hand in it?

    And if caring for the poor should remain the voluntary duty of good people, what if that isn’t enough?

    Comment by wildwest — December 23, 2005 @ 5:38 am

  11. Bob, I wholly agree with you that “the Republican budget and tax cuts are immoral” and I think too few Americans even consider the moral consequences of our government’s fiscal policies and budgets. Even worse, too many people of faith actively collaborate with the authors of these policies, not only by their silence or indifference, but also by actively trying to justify these policies as perfectly acceptable choices among all the possible options.

    Tony Perkins’ concession that “there is a [biblical] mandate to care for the poor” while also asserting that the Bible “does not say government should do it”, strikes me as both disingenuous and dismissive of the biblical witness. As Christian citizens in a representative democracy, we play a dangerous game with God and conscience when we pretend that God’s expectations of us personally and as a community of faith have no direct consequences in our political acts and civic expressions. If we genuinely believe that God requires we care for the poor, the helpless, or the dispossessed of this world, then we are conscience bound to exercise all means at our disposal to do so, including the means granted to us as citizens to give shape and purpose to our government and its policies.

    Whom do the prophets indict for injustices against the poor and dispossessed? The wealthy, the powerful, the leaders of the people. And their crimes include injustices bought with bribes; power and wealth gained by violence and deceit; and self-indulgence at the expense of the needy. Refer to Amos and Micah for examples. For more contemporary examples, refer also to the provisions of the Republican budget and tax cuts that benefit powerful pharmaceutical and healthcare interests, or tax cuts for the wealthiest in our society, all at the expense of the poorest and neediest among us.

    Insofar as we share in the leadership of our nation through representative democracy, we share also in the moral burdens of our government’s policies and actions. We are among the leaders accountable to God, and trying to absolve ourselves by declaring that the biblical witness does not require relevant government policy and action effectively denies that the prophets have anything to say to us. Is there only one way of doing the right thing? Of course not! But denying that government has any responsibility in treating the poor and neediest justly is absurd and faithless.

    Comment by Johann — December 23, 2005 @ 5:51 am

  12. I’ll answer you very simply. For wildwest, I never said that I oppose government having ANY hand in aiding the poor, and further, Angel, since you seem to want to generalize all Republicans in one fell swoop and condemn them sarcastically, I don’t think that that would be a majority view of all Republicans in the Nation.

    My complaint is that the left, and it is becoming more and more evident that the owner of this blog is not simply a moderate Democrat, who happens to be a Christian, seeking compromise and unity but rather a farther left creature than that, is the idea that government is to be more wholly responsible while seemingly ignoring the Christian Community’s responsibility. There are no calls from Bob for Christians to unite and help aid the poor financially, what we have instead is a call for Christians to unite in an appeal to demand that the Federal Government take on that responsibility with little or no appeal to Christians and their own individual responsibility.

    Wildwest, your attempt at pointing out hypocrisy in my position is not founded in light of the fact that I am not opposed to the government aiding the poor, I am simply opposed to the fed gov being the sole source of aid to the poor while ignoring the individual Christian’s responsibility, as Bob seems to do. I think it is a legitimate concern that individual giving may not be enough to adequately meet the needs of the poor, but if a program’s imperfection means that it should be dismissed completely and some other imperfect entity should take over the sole responsibility of meeting a goal, what is the point!? In my humble opinion, because the Christian community does not adequately meet ALL the needs of the poor does not mean that the government should become solely responsible, rather, I think there is a place for the Federal Government AND the Christian community to contribute to aiding the poor. Shouldn’t the Christian community be pointing out the need for individual Christian responsibility AS WELL AS government aid in this issue?

    I do not defend the Republican party as the perfect party, I defend it as being a politically corrupt party right along with the Democratic party, I just find it the party which, I personally, have more in common with than the Democratic party. I will not blindly support wrongdoing in either party. I have no personal stake in the Republican party but am finding myself, more and more, moving to a cynical view of ALL politcal parties. If you think the Democrat Party is less corrupt than the Republican Party…well, I’ve got that proverbial bridge to sell ya! ;)Btw, Bob, the deficit is down, the President’s poll numbers are rising, there IS a war on terror and according to John Schmidt, who served UNDER PRESIDENT CLINTON from 1994 to 1997 as the associate attorney general of the United States:

    “In the most recent judicial statement on the issue, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, composed of three federal appellate court judges, said in 2002 that “All the … courts to have decided the issue held that the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence … We take for granted that the president does have that authority.””

    See: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0512210142dec21,0,3553632.story

    Comment by Jacke — December 23, 2005 @ 12:32 pm

  13. “I think there is a place for the Federal Government AND the Christian community to contribute to aiding the poor. Shouldn’t the Christian community be pointing out the need for individual Christian responsibility AS WELL AS government aid in this issue?”

    I like that better than your previous phrasing. Two solutions are always better than one!

    Comment by wildwest — December 23, 2005 @ 1:40 pm

  14. I believe private charity has a very important role to play in helping the poor, and have never said otherwise. But private charity isn’t able to make up the $40B cut from the budget, so there will be increased suffering among poor Americans.

    Comment by Bob — December 23, 2005 @ 2:03 pm

  15. Jacke, my comment was meant to be sarcastic. I am very upset that this budget passed. I actually spent a lot of time campaigning against it. And, while what I said might not be the majority view of all Republicans, it is the majority view of the Republicans representing you.

    Comment by Angel — December 23, 2005 @ 2:15 pm

  16. Bob, while you have never said otherwise, I have yet to see you post anything about individual responsibility of Christians to meet the challenge presented them in regards to the poor. That leaves one with the idea that all your energy goes into appealing to the government to take care of them for you, and/or all your energy goes into rallying activism among other Progressives to do the same. Have you ever suggested in a blog entry how important it is for individual Christians to honor their responsibility of caring for the poor? I’d love for you to provide the link to those numerous past entries wherein you are rallying the Christian community to dig deeper…dig deeper….

    Comment by Jacke — December 23, 2005 @ 7:45 pm

  17. Angel, I respect your opinion. I also know that the Bush Administration has spent more on many social issues than Bill Clinton did. If required I can prove it. I once heard someone say that Bush has done more financially for liberal causes than most liberal Presidents, that they ought to love him, rather they are so blinded by their hatred for him that they cannot praise anything he does. I’m not defending the President, I have mixed feelings about the cuts. I don’t have icewater in my veins and I happen to have a Mother who is reliant on government assistance, however, we are coming up on an election year and it would be wise to consider that. Republican opponents are going to twist everything to claim that Bush and his Republican majority Congress are not Conservative (which they have NOT proven to be) and bash them for it, at the same time they will use this issue, wherein his party has tried to be more conservative, and bash them for that. It’s the classic “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” scenario, pure politics. I wish you’d read my blog entry on Jim Wallis (the most recent one) at my blog. The selling of religion and “righteousness” has just begun. The owner of IAACT is on the front line in the battle. Humbly, Jacke.

    Comment by Jacke — December 23, 2005 @ 7:58 pm

  18. Jackie, in your posting of 12/23/2005 @ 7:45 pm, you leave me with the impression that you didn’t read Bob’s original posting in its entirety, and particularly his last two paragraphs. Bob does indeed call upon us all to “work together to solve this problem, to come together as a community, as a country, to help the neediest among us”. That sounds to me like an invitation to every person of faith, and to all people concerned about the plight of the poor and needy, to recognize our individual and communal responsibilities to work on their behalf.

    If I understand you correctly, Jackie, I believe your underlying message is that we have no business expecting government to manifest by its actions and policies the moral values we may hold as individuals of faith. According to you, responsibility for caring for the poor lies with individuals and we are wrong to call upon government to do so for us. Do you not see a fundamental inconsistency in that position for citizens of a representative democracy? We are individually responsible for our own actions, indeed! But, that includes our actions in the civic and political realm. In a representative democracy, we create and constitute the government to serve the common good, and as citizens we each bear responsibility for making sure that government does what we decide it should do. When Bob and others call upon us all to work together to shape or influence government policy, they are in effect calling upon us as citizens, some of us people of faith and some of us not, to recognize our individual responsibilities to the needy and to act accordingly.

    Comment by Johann — December 24, 2005 @ 12:10 pm

  19. Oops… after enlarging the text size on my screen, I realized I misspelled Jacke’s name… Sorry!

    Comment by Johann — December 24, 2005 @ 12:52 pm

  20. Johann, you’re right! Thanks for pointing that out. Jacke with this statement:

    “I think there is a place for the Federal Government AND the Christian community to contribute to aiding the poor. Shouldn’t the Christian community be pointing out the need for individual Christian responsibility AS WELL AS government aid in this issue?”

    and Bob with this statement:

    “What we need to do is to all work together to solve this problem, to come together as a community, as a country, to help the neediest among us. We need to all chip in to help out, and we should raise up leaders from among us to make the moral decisions and commit the resources to help those who need it.

    And that, dear readers, is exactly what Americans have done in the past through our representative democracy, aka our government. Before “government” became a bad word, we looked to the government to help us do together what none of us could do alone — to feed the hungry and care for the sick”

    are saying the same thing. So how, Jacke, do you come to the conclusion:

    “I am simply opposed to the fed gov being the sole source of aid to the poor while ignoring the individual Christian’s responsibility, as Bob seems to do.”

    I don’t see Bob saying that anywhere.

    Then you ask, “Shouldn’t the Christian community be pointing out the need for individual Christian responsibility AS WELL AS government aid in this issue?”

    I think Bob *is* pointing that out.

    I agree with both of you, at least on that point.

    Comment by wildwest — December 24, 2005 @ 2:48 pm

  21. Yes, I agree with Johann and wildwest. I did read the entire post, including that part, I just get the general idea that more time is spent by Progressive Christians to point out the lack of monetary caring for the poor on the part of the federal government than it is on the lack of monetary caring for the poor on the part of the Christian community. I apologize to Bob for maybe being a bit extreme in my response, however, it puts me in a bit of a foul and defensive mood when nearly every new post that Bob puts out is a slam at or bashing of the President and the Republican party as a whole. So, perhaps I overreacted due to the tone Bob has been setting of late. Calling for the impeachment of the President is primarily being offered by only members of the far left in the Democratic party, at this point, and I believe is an extreme and rash position to take at the moment. A fellow member of that private political debate group I belong to pointed this out this evening:

    “Meet the Press ran an interesting segment this morning with Russert, Tom Brokow and Ted Koppel. I did not get to see all of it but one interesting comment made by Koppel the other two agreed with. Basically he stated that the Democrats are doing it again, trying to make an issue out of the NSA Eavesdropping when most of the country agrees that the President should be spying on Terrorists and suspected terrorist links. Brokow and Russert agreed with him”

    Like I said, I just think it is an exteme far left position. Maybe it’s time for a break for Jacke? Merry Christmas ALL! 🙂

    Comment by Jacke — December 25, 2005 @ 7:58 pm

  22. Center-left does would look like far left from the perspective of the far right, wouldn’t it, Jacke? 😉

    Comment by wildwest — December 26, 2005 @ 11:48 am

  23. I mean “Center-left would look…” I think I overcelebrated the holy day! 🙂

    Comment by wildwest — December 26, 2005 @ 11:49 am

  24. wildwest writes:

    “Center-left does would look like far left from the perspective of the far right, wouldn’t it, Jacke?”

    How would I know? 😉

    Comment by Jacke — December 27, 2005 @ 11:37 am

  25. Jacke, you amuse me. We’re never “the left,” always “the far left.” Like, is there any other kind of left?

    Comment by wildwest — December 28, 2005 @ 8:34 am

  26. Yes, I know a few Moderate Democrats with whom I find much to agree. I do not agree with the far left on much. I also disagree with the far right on some issues. I find myself agreeing with a particular Libertarian on many issues, he leans a little to the right, as well. See how that works? I’m a Centrist who leans right. 🙂

    Comment by Jacke — December 28, 2005 @ 11:39 am

  27. “most of the country agrees that the President should be spying on Terrorists and suspected terrorist links.”

    So do I. Does that make me a centrist who leans left? 🙂

    Comment by wildwest — December 28, 2005 @ 2:20 pm

  28. I would say so, that could be why I luv yew so. 🙂

    Comment by Jacke — December 29, 2005 @ 8:37 am

  29. All right! I pick my friends by what they call me! 🙂

    Comment by wildwest — December 29, 2005 @ 9:35 am

  30. So long as you don’t pick my nose we’ll get along just fine. 😉

    Comment by Jacke — December 29, 2005 @ 6:13 pm

  31. Now, now, Jacke. The statement I meant for you to respond to is in the previous entry.

    (This one is getting weird, with too many little yellow circles following short, meaningless statements.)

    Comment by wildwest — December 30, 2005 @ 6:54 am

  32. Please leave the President in peace to make his decision that are jointly agreed by his ‘cabinet’

    Comment by yap ploy — May 1, 2006 @ 8:36 am

  33. A few points here.

    1.] Since Johnson’s Great Society “War on Poverty” (hey, why no exit strategy here?), the federal government has spent some nine trillion (yes, you read that right, with a T) dollars on aid to the poor. To put that in perspective, that is enough to buy each and every “poor person” their own business.

    2.] It puzzles me why “progressives” think that the government is or contributes to the solution to any problem. In terms of poverty, government bureaucracies steal over 80% of tax collections earmarked for the poor to pay for administrative costs. Approximately 20 cents on the dollar goes to the poor whilst 90 cents on the dollar for many charities.

    For that matter, it also puzzles me why progressives refuse to let go of the idea of throwing money at a problem as a means of solving it. We see how well that’s worked in public schools.

    3.] While it’s easy to talk about the “responsibilities” of the Church or the government, we can’t talk about the responsibilities of the “poor” because they’ve been granted some kind of sainthood. Progressives like to see Jesus in the face of the homeless while blaming the fact that they sleep under the highway overpass on the government rather than bad personal choices (a heroin habit for example). Absurd to the third degree.

    4.] And lastly a response to wildwest: “The Bible in no uncertain terms condemns homosexuality, and it is the government’s duty to enforce that stricture by refusing to recognize gay marriages.”

    Think about your statement for at least thirty seconds. A “refusal to recognize” is not an “enforcement of a stricture.” That doesn’t make any sense.

    The government should promote what is promotable–and homosexual behavior, sorry, isn’t promotable. You don’t even have to be a Christian to figure that one out.

    Salud

    Comment by AMA — June 25, 2006 @ 8:20 am

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