Democratic Underground

Where is Their Conscience?
November 14, 2001
by Dave Milam

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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 know.

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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