Tag Archives: Welfare state

The budget and the “Christian” Left

In God’s Federal Budget Priorities? Mark Tooley does a good job of analyzing the problems of the religious Left, specifically the views of the Sojourners group led by false teacher Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis.  The allegedly Christian portion of the “religious Left” routinely denies the deity of Christ, his exclusivity for salvation, the authority and accuracy of the Bible and so much more. We have a term for people who hold their views: Non-Christians.  We aim to share the Gospel with them at their earliest convenience, and we aim to remove them and their false teachings from real churches as soon as possible.

But in the Religious Left’s surreal universe, all persons are intrinsically good but victimized by oppressive social systems, for which they are entitled to endless redress by a mammoth, centralized state, controlled of course by the enlightened Left.

So many serious problems are caused by ignoring the truth of original sin.  And it never occurs to the Religious Left that those systems had to have been designed by all these “intrinsically good” people.

Sanctimoniously, the Sojourners mobilizer bewailed that the “vulnerable” may lack super PACs and “gangs of lobbyists . . .

Sadly, the most vulnerable — innocent human beings in the womb — have the Sojourners and the rest of the religious Left either ignoring or advancing the ultimate social injustice of abortion. They love to quote the “least of these” part of Matthew 25 while ignoring that they all want taxpayer-funded abortions. That means they think one of our problems is that we aren’t killing enough unborn children.

But how can there be “advantage” for future generations if the U.S. federal government is straddled with tens of trillions in unredeemable debt, crippling taxes, bankrupting entitlement programs, an enervating Welfare State, and crippling regulations? The Religious Left’s faithful budget prophets do not explain.

. . .

Traditional Christianity envisions a world of balance in which all persons are called to contribute towards the common good with their own God-given talents.  Traditional Christianity sees all persons as moral agents responsible for their own decisions.  And traditional Christianity sees all persons as sinners who often need rewards, punishments and incentives as well as ongoing challenge and accountability.  But in the Religious Left’s surreal universe, all persons are intrinsically good but victimized by oppressive social systems, for which they are entitled to endless redress by a mammoth, centralized state, controlled of course by the enlightened Left.

. . .

How to pay for all these additional expenses?  Cut nuclear weapons, submarines and aircraft, along with prisons, and immigration law enforcement.

What could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Christianity is a very earthy, no nonsense faith embodied in St. Paul’s admonition, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”  The early church fathers and sensible churchmen ever since have believed that governments are ordained mainly to defend their people with armies and police, to punish the criminally wicked, and to sustain public order so that honest people can exercise their virtues freely to the glory of God.

But the Religious Left chooses to see Big Government almost as a replacement for God, the church, the family, and virtually all other human institutions.   They ascribe to the federal Welfare and Regulatory State powers and mysteries that even the most zealous of ancient pagans never ascribed to their favorite golden idols.

Two easy pictures: How the welfare state begins and ends

It is disappointing to see how people think the Greece situation is some sort of anomaly that could never happen here. But it is only a matter of time. Look at the reactions in Wisconsin and Occupy Wall Street when the entitlement crowd was asked to give up a small part of their higher-than-market-rate benefits.

See Two Pictures that Perfectly Capture the Rise and Fall of the Welfare State:

These images are remarkably accurate. The welfare state starts with small programs targeted at a handful of genuinely needy people. But as  politicians figure out the electoral benefits of expanding programs and people figure out the that they can let others work on their behalf, the ratio of producers to consumers begins to worsen.

Eventually, even though the moochers and looters should realize that it is not in their interest to over-burden the people pulling the wagon, the entire system breaks down.

Then things get really interesting. Small nations such as Greece can rely on permanent bailouts from bigger countries and the IMF, but sooner or later, as larger nations begin to go bankrupt, that approach won’t be feasible.

Here are some lessons from the European crisis that would help us, if only the voters would come to their senses and elect some leaders with the courage to carry them out, instead of continually electing people who fail at basic economics:

1. Higher taxes lead to higher spending, not lower deficits. Miss Morandotti looks at the evidence from Europe and shows that politicians almost always claim that higher taxes will be used to reduce red ink, but the inevitable result is bigger government. This is a lesson that gullible Republicans need to learn – especially since some of them want to acquiesce to a tax hike as part of the “Supercommitee” negotiations.

2. A value-added tax would be a disaster. This was music to my ears sinceI have repeatedly warned that the statists won’t be able to impose a European-style welfare state in the United States without first imposing this European-style money machine for big government.

3. A welfare state cripples the human spirit. This was the point eloquently made by Hadley Heath of the Independent Women’s Forum in a recent video.

4. Nations reach a point of no return when the number of people mooching off government exceeds the number of people producing. Indeed, Miss Morandotti drew these two cartoons showing how the welfare state inevitably leads to fiscal collapse.

5. Bailouts don’t work. This also was a powerful lesson. Imagine howmuch better things would be in Europe if Greece never received an initial bailout. Much less money would have been flushed down the toilet and this tough-love approach would have sent a very positive message to nations such as Portugal, Italy, and Spain about the danger of continued excessive spending.

Why “soaking the rich” doesn’t work

They are remarkably waterproof.  Game the rules all you like and they will find ways around them, or just move their capital to an environment that isn’t so hostile to it.  Politicians endlessly create and exploit loopholes but arrogantly assume that no one else is as clever as they are and will do the same.

Driven by a combination of bad planning, a lack of understanding of  basic economics and plain old coveting*, California is now doomed to fail.

See Californians flee to red states at Haemet.

In the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, 870,000 people left California.  Most of them went to red states, like Arizona and Texas, wherein jobs are more plentiful, taxes are lower, and housing prices are lower.

Problematically for California, the type of people who leave a failing state are the ones that a state most needs.  The educated, the wealthy, and the ambitious are the ones who will pack up and move, taking their human capital, their assets, and their earning capacity to other states.  Most of the people who stay are the ones who need the strong and able to carry them.  California is on its way to a death spiral, wherein everything it will need to do will only exacerbate its problems.

This why we need simplified tax structures.  Yes, some will take advantage of them, but they always will.  Having a tax code multiple times the size of the Bible is doomed to fail.  It just increases bureaucracy and wastes money.  We also need to get rid of public-sector unions and radically cut back the welfare state.

* Remember that one?  It made the top 10 list.