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Old 12-15-2005, 12:57 PM   #31
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I've heard it said before and I believe it to be true -- you aren't a Christian if you go to Church on Sunday to worship God. You are a Christian if you walk out of that Church and live your whole life as if you were following God. There is a difference.
I think it was Keith Green who said, "Going to church makes you a Christian like going to McDonald's makes you a cheeseburger."
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:15 PM   #32
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an editorial I read a few days ago

Scrooge in the House

By Derrick Z. Jackson | December 10, 2005

'Twas two weeks before Christmas, and all through the House, $50 billion was cut for those considered a mouse. Tax breaks instead hung by the chimney with care, for investors and CEOs, hands already there. America's rich nestled all snug in their beds as $95 billion danced in their heads.

IT WAS expected, of course, that the House of Representatives would do the deed they promised to do before Thanksgiving. They cut $50 billion last month from programs serving low-income Americans. This week they passed the final part of what amounts to $95 billion in tax cuts. It represents a height of taking from the poor to give to the rich. Out went billions for student loans, Medicaid, and food stamps. In came billions for stock dividends and capital gains.

Regardless of political leanings, economists know where the money is going.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that $70 billion of the $95 billion in tax cuts will go to households making over $100,000. That category accounts for 14 percent of households. According to the center, that 14 percent will get 74 percent of the money.

The Brookings Institution's and the Urban Institute's Tax Policy Center calculate that the top 20 percent of American households would get 88.9 percent of the House's tax-cut benefits while the bottom 20 percent would get only 11.1 percent. Twenty-four percent of the benefits would go to Americans who make more than $1 million a year. Such people make up only 0.2 percent of the population.

This is not only Scroogian, it is, ''unmoral, uncaring and without compassion," said Georgia Representative John Lewis.

Lewis, a Democrat, can smell immorality as well as any of the 534 other members of the House and Senate, having risked his life in the civil rights movement. He added, ''We're ballooning the debt, selling our children and grandchildren with the deal."

It is a fire sale that betrays the piousness so many of the members pushing hardest for the cuts. For instance, Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican, was one of 68 members of Congress who a couple of years ago signed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the ''under God" portion of the Pledge of Allegiance. He has voted to approve federal funds for church-based Head Start programs and against an amendment that would have prohibited religious discrimination by faith-based groups seeking community services block grants.

Representative David Dreier of California said that the Democrats' complaints about the Republican lack of compassion were ''pathetic arguments" and ''nothing but the ideological baggage of the past." The ideological baggage of the present, as Dreier sees it, is joining Hensarling on support of faith-based discrimination of federal funds.

This week, our faith-based president, George W. Bush, was in North Carolina for a pro-tax-cut speech. Throughout his presidency, Bush has referred to tax cuts and faith-based initiatives in the same speech. In one such speech this year, he said, ''We understand that government can't love. Government can pass law, government can hand out money, but government cannot put hope in a person's heart or a sense of purpose in a person's life.

''That's done when a loving citizen puts their arm around somebody who hurts and says, 'How can I help you? . . . the best way to bring hope into the dark corners of our country, the best way to bring optimism into people's lives, is to stand squarely on -- side by side with faith-based organizations and community-based organizations whose members have heard that call to love a neighbor just like you would like to love -- be loved yourself."

It is the foremost hypocrisy practiced by the Bush presidency outside of Iraq. Bush guarantees that government cannot show love by using it to cut the heart out of hope for the poor, then showers love on the most fortunate among us with unabashed displays of selfishness such as, ''I called on the United States Congress to let the people keep more of their own money, to cut their taxes and Congress responded. We lowered your taxes and gave you an opportunity to keep more of what you earn."

Odd, there are plenty of religious teachings that direct people to share time and money with the poor. There is no commandment that says, ''Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor With a Tax Cut."

'Twas two weeks before Christmas. The stockings hung by the chimney are full for the rich. The poor are even more invisible than a mouse. Their hopes smolder in the chimney, in the dimming lumps of coal.
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Old 12-15-2005, 01:17 PM   #33
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oh poppycock

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Old 12-15-2005, 02:00 PM   #34
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
I disagree with the notion that the governement is the best organization.

I believe in keeping my money and using it by donating it to causes that I choose to donate too. I do not believe that the governement is the best place for it.

There are plently of examples of pork and misuse of tax money.

When I chooses to take what money I have and give to my church, my local homeless shelter for example, I am better able to if I am not giving my money to the government.

Why an either/ or?

We can be for private charity and spend time helping the poor and we can also ask the government help the poor. A combination would be best. You will not pay less taxes because you engage in private help. Here, the right combination could create a miracle of help - can we have a tax cut for those who invest their time and their money for the poor? Maybe more people would be inspired to help their brothers if they get a bonus.

I have the impression that government programs to help the needy (and only a few exist, see Mrs Springsteens editiorial) are important. Why cancel these, why not just add private charity, donations and time to this?
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:07 PM   #35
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I think you sell yourself short here. Sure a government agency can crank out more food stamps than you. But, your handing of a meal to a family in need carries far more than just food. You are the face of hope, not a government agency. You give hope and a future - not a meager dependency on future handouts.

Another important factor is the role we all play. You vs. the government is not a fair match-up. If it were the people of the United States vs. the United States government, the people win. Too many people sit home and do nothing because they think it is the government's problem. If we all tackle the problem, on a personal level - the results would be far beyond what we've come to hope or expect from government.
Good points, lots of idealism, but why not combine the help of the government agency and personal help? If poverty programs are cut, you also take away the meager handout. The poor would be totally dependent on the welfare of the rich, and that is not a good thing. A strong social security system can save you from starving.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:18 PM   #36
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
We can be for private charity and spend time helping the poor and we can also ask the government help the poor. A combination would be best. You will not pay less taxes because you engage in private help. Here, the right combination could create a miracle of help - can we have a tax cut for those who invest their time and their money for the poor? Maybe more people would be inspired to help their brothers if they get a bonus.

I have the impression that government programs to help the needy (and only a few exist, see Mrs Springsteens editiorial) are important. Why cancel these, why not just add private charity, donations and time to this?


this is exactly what i'm saying.

and i feel like, many times, especially amongst the more well-to-do (religious or not), the donating of an afternoon or two during december to a food bank creates a sense of, "well, i've done my part" that, in turn, justifies voting for people who are going to lower taxes for you while at the same time cutting food stamps.

it must be a two-pronged attack -- good government programs and individual charitable work. ideally, one would compliment the other.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:20 PM   #37
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


I think you sell yourself short here. Sure a government agency can crank out more food stamps than you. But, your handing of a meal to a family in need carries far more than just food. You are the face of hope, not a government agency. You give hope and a future - not a meager dependency on future handouts.


sorry, but i find this very wishy-washy, feel-good thinking that does much for the person who spends one sunday in december at a food bank.

the important thing is that a hungry person gets fed. or that food stamps enable them to purchase food for hungry children (as people at my supermarket do every single time i go shopping).

i also want to point out the patronizing attitude in this paragraph -- that you, the rich person, are some sort of incentive for the poor person to better him/herself.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:24 PM   #38
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when a govt starts legislating compassion, chairty, and hoping to be the cure all- cure to all things..

this is where they take away an indivual's rights and responibilty to choose and then we find ourselves as a people treading in scary territory.

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Old 12-15-2005, 02:24 PM   #39
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We all need to do our part. There's really no other way to put it. On the same token, we're all guilty for not doing our part.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:25 PM   #40
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


Good points, lots of idealism, but why not combine the help of the government agency and personal help? If poverty programs are cut, you also take away the meager handout. The poor would be totally dependent on the welfare of the rich, and that is not a good thing. A strong social security system can save you from starving.
I agree that this is not really an either/or proposition in reality, but the proposition was essentially: "voting against big government programs is worse than engaging in individual charity".

If government programs have large inefficiencies and perpetuate the problems instead of solving them, I fully understand the desire to channel both income and efforts to specific, effective charities.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:27 PM   #41
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Originally posted by Irvine511
sorry, but i find this very wishy-washy, feel-good thinking that does much for the person who spends one sunday in december at a food bank.

the important thing is that a hungry person gets fed. or that food stamps enable them to purchase food for hungry children (as people at my supermarket do every single time i go shopping).

i also want to point out the patronizing attitude in this paragraph -- that you, the rich person, are some sort of incentive for the poor person to better him/herself.
I'm sorry you read so many negative implications into my words instead of asking for clarification.

The offering of hope has nothing to do with the wealth of the giver.

And I still find it better than staying home and paying taxes.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:32 PM   #42
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Originally posted by diamond
when a govt starts legislating compassion, chairty, and hoping to be the cure all- cure to all things..

this is where they take away an indivual's rights and responibilty to choose and then we find ourselves as a people treading in scary territory.

db9
Same could be said about morality as well. But then of course your party would have to look in the mirror, and we all know they're not too good at that.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:35 PM   #43
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It is a HUGE assumption that people make that the tax money that I or any other person wants saved is not going to be used in a productive manner.

I don't think it's that HUGE.

There are big portions of this country who will never give their money away, no matter how much they make or "keep".
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:37 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


I agree that this is not really an either/or proposition in reality, but the proposition was essentially: "voting against big government programs is worse than engaging in individual charity".

If government programs have large inefficiencies and perpetuate the problems instead of solving them, I fully understand the desire to channel both income and efforts to specific, effective charities.
Why are both things (government programs vs. individual charity) compared and by who? Who profits from cutting government programs? Reply the question for yourself and think about it.

I agree with Irvine when he says that a charity afternoon in December does not make much of a difference - I only think that some people do engage a lot more than just giving their time on a Sunday in december.

I have not heard of a program against poverty (except of international programs like the World Bank´s PRSP etc.) that perpetuated the problems instead of solving them. Every government program will be inefficient to some extent, because it is a government program - do things in a big perspective, in the macro-environment you will always have other problems than in the micro-environment. That´s natural, but not a reason to cut government programs.
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:46 PM   #45
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Originally posted by diamond
when a govt starts legislating compassion, chairty, and hoping to be the cure all- cure to all things..

this is where they take away an indivual's rights and responibilty to choose and then we find ourselves as a people treading in scary territory.

db9
No, thats just not right in my opinion.

- unless you can name one individual right you lose because a government legislates anti-poverty program.

Responsibility to choose has nothing whatsoever to do with charity or hoping - I fail to see a connection.

Your view seems to be influenced by a general dislike for governmental action (no one is hoping to be the cure-all) - I would call that anarchist.

And I´ll add that we´re not talking about charity, but about justice.
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