is Their Conscience?
by Dave Milam
The economic stimulus bill recently proposed by Rep. Thomas
and the Republicans goes against the values and beliefs most
Republicans say they share. Since the moral majority in the
80s backed Ronald Reagan, fundamentalist Christians have by
and large supported the Republican party. I have no problem
with that, any group should be allowed to support whomever
they wish in this free country.
But these politicians (like Delay and Armey) and their backers
are forgetting core beliefs clearly stated in the Bible. One
vitally important concept in the Bible is the sinful nature
of man. Romans says in reference back to the Psalms that "
there is no one who does good, not even one, and that all
have fallen short of the glory of God". People are predisposed
to behave badly and selfishly according to scripture. My point
in this is to show the fallacy of leaving it to the goodness
and generous nature of business to look out for the public
when they would receive an enormous windfall from the repeal
of the corporate income tax. Adam Smith's invisible hand which
guides some economic philosophy presumes that people in a
free market will act according to self interest and by doing
so this eventually works to the good of all.
The Republicans have banked on the idea that business, given
tax cuts, will go and hire new employees and expand business
operations. Besides going against what their churches teach
on Sunday, what assurance do Delay and Armey have that IBM
or Ford will not simply act in their selfish interest and
shift this windfall to offshore accounts or declare new dividends
for shareholders? Most businesses before Sept. 11 have been
stuck with inventories unsold. With business glutted with
oversupply how will this stimulate spending?
Has it not been said that consumer spending accounts for
2/3 of the economy? Doesn't it seem then that putting money
into the poor's hands will go farther than in the rich who
might lack buyers for their oversupply of goods?
Further the Bible teaches about relationships between the
rich and poor and responsibility of the same. Scripture says
(in Luke 12:48b) "that to whom much is given, much shall be
required". It is not (as Republicans would say) that this
is about income redistribution concerning taxes but rather
responsibility. And as Jesus said in Matthew 9:12 "People
who are well do not need a doctor, but people who are sick".
The wealthy are not in need of more tax relief, but the poor
might benefit and spend it thus lifting the economy. If tax
cuts for the rich truly would make for more hiring and starting
up business I could see some of it. But to simply leave it
all up to them on how they might spend this giveaway refutes
the Biblical lessons about men and selfish nature - which
the republicans as church going God fearing people should
By the way I am a Christian, a Democrat and sometimes liberal
who is offended much in the same way that Muslims are who
feel radical fundamentalists have hijacked their religion.
In similar fashion I think some republicans have hijacked
Christianity and given it a black eye.
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