Jesus, Hypocrisy, and Government Spending

The National Debt now stands at 17 trillion (that's 17,000,000,000,000) dollars.
The National Debt now stands at 17 trillion (that's 17,000,000,000,000) dollars. | Source

Perhaps you’ve heard something like the following:


Those right-winged Christians are a bunch of hypocrites. I wonder if Jesus would have promoted cutting welfare benefits or channeling government money from the poor to the Wall Street bankers. If they really cared about people and were real Christians, those wingnuts on the right would stop marshalling their forces for greater tax cuts or obstructing government policies that are helping the poor.

Jesus and those Right-Wing Hypocrites

As for trying to make Jesus a liberal or a conservative, that's like trying to pin him to the Pharisees (more conservative) or Sadducees (more liberal). The fact is that both groups hated him and he chastised both groups the same.

If you think that Jesus' ethic is to give assistance to the unmarried woman with ten children or Social Security benefits to Warren Buffet, then we're not reading the same New Testament. Jesus helped people individually; he didn't go to the Roman consuls and call them "uncharitable" for not having pity on the poor. Jesus helped people with real needs--the blind man, the man with a sick child, or the crowd that would "faint in the way" unless they got something to eat. Jesus’ accusation of hypocrisy was aimed mostly at those that had perverted the Law of Moses, not at those who claimed to help the poor with the one hand, but hurt them with the other.

Pointing the finger at the "political right" and calling them “hypocrites” is like having two onions talking together with one of them saying, "I know we stink, but not as bad as those onions over there."

Right-Wing Hypocrites and Government Spending

Having said that, the problem with the economy is not “right-winged hypocrisy” or “tax cuts,” it's spending. Money is flowing out of our government like a severed artery. No one even has an inkling as to how much. We could tax the American people into oblivion but it's not going to fix the spending issue; in fact, it will just make it worse. The main reason why the economy is in the tank at present is the housing crisis which was brought on by Fannie, Freddie, and their poster child on the Hill, Barney Frank. Even tax cuts aren’t going to fix the easy-money holiday invoked by Democrat policies prior to the housing collapse. If the conservatives bear any fault in this disaster, it’s because some (but not all) of them went along with this nonsense.

President Reagan, like President Kennedy, cut taxes and the economy boomed. In the case of Reagan, it boomed even though he invoked higher deficits as a result.

Haven’t we lived long enough to observe the behavior of our government? Which of the following two scenarios is more reflective of our government’s thinking?

1. “We have some extra money. Let’s put that money toward paying down our debt and decrease our liability and dependency.”
2. “We have some extra money. Let’s fly to Vegas. By the end of the week, we’ll be millionaires!”

You don’t even have to be remotely attentive to know the answer to this.

The only way that the government is going to spend less money is if it has less money. That’s true of most people and it’s certainly true of our president and the gang on Capitol Hill.

We need to face the fact that the government has enough money. Like everyone else, they need to make do with what they have. Hilarious commercials about Paul Ryan sticking it to Granny aren’t going to help. Progressives and conservatives need to get on the same page if the economy is going to improve. They will have to eventually, or watch the demise of our economy. It’s time for the leaders to step forward and make it happen.

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Comments 10 comments

Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 4 years ago Author

I would agree that if there is to be welfare, it should be done at the local level; centralized welfare instituted over 300 million people is the definition of incompetency. Thanks for your comments.


charles wade profile image

charles wade 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Yes we have all heard comments similar to your opening paragraph. I never assume liberals actually believe what they say. I always thought money was being taken from people who earn money and given to those who do not earn it in any way. I never considered government run welfare programs as being charitable or seriously beneficial to the majority of the beneficiaries; that is if you exclude the Democratic Party.

Welfare taxes should be collected and distributed at the local district. Welfare taxes should be listed separately on our local tax bills along with other tax distributions. Welfare distributions should be restricted, limited and require recipients to provide a necessary public service.

At a minimum, a freeze in federal spending increases from our current year, a freeze in tax increases for ten years, increased oil production, lower gas prices, increased employment and repeal of the healthcare bill would be a good start; perhaps even enough to put the American people back to sleep again.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 4 years ago Author

James,

Always good to hear from you. You are the MAN in this neighborhood. As for the $1500, I don't know; I've never investigated it before. But as I tried to convey, I don't think it's relevant. If Bachmann has been receiving it from the government, it's a quid pro quo; she is doing the government a service (caring for the foster children)and they are compensating her for it. If they reduce the subsidy, then I favor it. And even if MM is right, Bachmann is low on the food chain of those that are bilking the federal government. How about going after all the Medicare/Medicaid scams out there or round up all the tax cheats in the Obama Administration. We'd save the tax payers a lot more.

And when did we start attacking good foster parents? This is a new low for the Donkey Party.

Thanks again James, and Merry Christmas...


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

Your article is great and I agree with every word. It's about time somebody started making sense around here. Thank you for a good read.

On a side note, do you really get $1500 a month tax free for taking in a foster child? If so, I might answer that Call myself. Do you know if that is true?


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

I don't think either side of the aisle--or even the aisle itself can rise above the label of hypocrite. The higher the level of government, the less responsibility to the citizenry, IMO.

Let's make the federal government answer for the millions and sometimes billions of dollars it loses each year. The buck has to stop somewhere.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

I don't even know how to respond to a statement like "Terrorists aren't a problem when you consider the many Libertarians disguised as Republicans." I'd like to see you make that statement to a child who lost his mother and father in the World Trade Center attack.

Second, it wouldn't have taken much effort on your part to do the math.

Third, I guess that every foster parent who takes the government money to take care of the foster kids is tainted.

Come on! Can't we find a more notorious set of flaming hypocrites than foster parents who take a government stipend to take care of the kids that the government is going to have to take care of if the foster parents don't take care of them?

Have you ever raised kids? Do you know how far $1500 goes when you have a teenager in your home? You’re not only reaching for straws, you’re sucking up the chaff. If you want to demonize Bachmann, you’ll have to do better than attack her for being a foster parent.


Make  Money profile image

Make Money 5 years ago from Ontario

Only snide remarks about Michelle Bachmann is it. My sister and her husband have been foster parents for about ten years. Ten years ago they were receiving about $1,500 tax free per month per foster child. For most of those ten years they had four foster kids. That's $6,000 per month tax free. Now they just have three foster kids. Possibly because of a raise. Foster kids have more than paid for their horse ranch.

Contrast this with mother's allowance. A single mother of four has told me that her worker at mother's allowance has asked her if she thinks she can afford to keep her kids. Keep in mind, if she said she couldn't afford to keep her kids she would lose her children for good, not just until she gets back on her feet. Foster children are a money maker for some people these days. The fact that the worker at mother's allowance asked this mother whether she thought she could afford to keep her kids makes me believe that the worker at mother's allowance may be getting a kick back from a private foster parent agency. The foster parent agencies make even more than the actual foster parents make.

Back to Michelle Bachmann. $1500 times 23 equals $________ tax free per month. You do the math.

So are some Republicans hypocritical? No, they are disgustingly hypocritical.

Christian Rakovsky a Bulgarian socialist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and Soviet diplomat is quoted as saying “Marxism, before being a philosophical, economic and political system, is a conspiracy for the Revolution.” “words and facts in Marxism are subject to the strict rules of the higher science: the rules of conspiracy and revolution.” “The State as such is only power. AND MONEY IS EXCLUSIVELY POWER.” “Moscow is subjective Communism, but [objective] Capitalism. New York: Capitalism subjective, but Communism objective.” What he means by ‘New York’ is: “The Financial International, the Capitalist-Communist one [i.e. Communist International]…”

Laissez-faire free market economics that Libertarians advocate is what Rakovsky was referring to. Nobody but party members own property in a Marxist country. In a laissez-faire free market economy fewer and fewer people own property. They both have they same result. There are Libertarians in both the Democratic and Republican Parties but the Republican Party is riddled with them. Terrorists aren't a problem when you consider the many Libertarians disguised as Republicans.


Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago Author

MM--As for your first point, how are tax cuts for the wealthy going to affect the tax cuts for the working poor? Is your point that there will not be enough of a tax increase for the working poor? The poor contribute little to the tax revenue anyway (by some definitions, they don't pay any at all). Besides, Congress' left hand doesn't know what its right hand is doing. They're not treating this as a zero-sum game. At this point, Congress is going to give the poor whatever they want to give them regardless of the tax breaks for the wealthy (and, of course, that’s part of the problem). So your point about cutting corporate taxes is irrelevant.

Along with that, I'm suspicious when people start demonizing achievement while in the same breath getting teary-eyed over "the poor." We all should be concerned about the poor, but there is too much “ulterior motive” when people start characterizing the rich (“Wall Street Bankers,” the oil companies) as evil Americans. The continual contrasting the rich and the poor, and the use of the term “the poor” itself is a Marxist analysis; it is not American. For at least those two reasons, it should not be trusted.

Second, your comments about Michelle Bachmann "making a bundle" and not knowing the adopted children's names contain no facts; only snide remarks.

And, if the nation defaults on its loan, that's a chance we'll have to take. We’re already running that risk now by our current policy of “spend till you drop.” We need leaders who are going to face up to it now, not fear mongering about what will happen in a month (and we're not going to default on our loans because of a standoff between Republicans and Democrats in Congress). If anything, the standoff will give sensible people some confidence that the Republicans mean what they say when they insist that we have to get our financial house in order. And if we need anything right now, it’s some level-headed confidence in the economy and not short-term, economic forecast from the Chicken-Little wing of the Democrat Party.


Make  Money profile image

Make Money 5 years ago from Ontario

It IS hypocritical of some Republicans.

"Bachmann Calls For Huge Corporate Tax Cut Alongside Tax Increase For The Working Poor"

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06/11/242953...

Michele Bachmann: Welfare Queen

"Bachmann’s family farm received $251,973 in federal subsidies" and other Republicans profited from federal farm subsidies as well.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/michelle_bachm...

And don't think Michele Bachmann is not making a bundle with the 23 foster kids. I wonder if she knows all their names.

Anyway the Republicans have a month to move before the country defaults on loans.


Robephiles profile image

Robephiles 5 years ago

Reagan cut the top marginal tax rate from 70% to 50%. Despite this he did raise taxes eleven times on the middle class. This is not "an interpretation" or "an opinion" but a fact you can look up. Before he left office Reagan lowered the top marginal tax rate to 28%. This forced George H. W. Bush to raise taxes on the wealthy (but only to 30%) and to start cutting spending which he did mostly from the military budget. After losing re-election Bill Clinton followed the same model Bush did, he continued to reduce military spending and raised taxes on the wealthy to 39.6% top marginal tax rate.

Questions:

1. If when Reagan was president and the economy was "booming" and the top tax rate was 50% why does that justify the further lowering of a 31% tax rate today.

2. If we are to reduce spending why would we take it from social programs instead of defence which is our biggest part of the budget. By gradually reducing defence spending overtime we could more greatly reduce the budget then through anything else. The second biggest part of the budget is medicare which every poll says Americans do not want the politicians to touch.

3. If Bill Clinton both raised taxes and cut spending from the military and this resulted from a booming economy then why is this a bad model to follow. Most conservatives answer this by saying that it was Clinton benefiting from Reagan's policies that caused the 90s boom but this doesn't square with the fact that you just gave all the credit for the 80s boom to Reagan. There is no facts to back this claim up. Either Clinton's policies worked or they didn't and I have yet to see a convincing argument that they didn't.

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