The U.S. national debt would be sustainable without the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy

    We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating…

    The following comes from a new report by our friends at Think Progress:

    bushtaxcuts_graphjpg

    Ten years ago today, the first round of Bush tax cuts became law. But what if they hadn’t? What would our fiscal situation look like if history had been different in just one respect: if we’d never implemented President George W. Bush’s eponymous tax policies? The short answer is that the debate over federal debt levels would be entirely different. In that alternate world, total debt as a share of GDP would be under 50 percent this year—instead of pushing 70 percent—and it would be expected to stay under 60 percent for the rest of the decade. (see chart) That’s well below the levels causing such great consternation in Washington.

    Bear in mind that President Bush inherited perhaps the strongest federal balance sheet in postwar history. There were record-high surpluses, debt was at around 30 percent of GDP and falling, and the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would be debt free by 2009. The country was in great fiscal shape to deal with any crises or emergencies coming down the road, and it was even ready to deal with the coming retirement of the baby boom generation.

    But rather than follow President Bill Clinton’s successful lead, President Bush handed out gigantic tax cuts, with people at the top of the income ladder getting the biggest breaks. Those “supply-side” tax cuts were a complete failure as economic policy, and now, instead of being debt free and well prepared to care for an aging population, our debt-to-GDP ratio is almost 70 percent. If those tax cuts are extended—instead of being allowed to expire on schedule at the end of 2012—it will approach 100 percent by 2021.

    Of course, other factors contributed to the federal budget’s deterioration: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; the subsequent recession; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; President Bush’s domestic spending programs; and the onset of the Great Recession at the end of 2007, which led to massively reduced tax collections as incomes plummeted.

    But even with all of that, when one adds back the foregone revenue from the Bush tax cuts to the actual revenue collections over the past 10 years, the debt picture suddenly becomes markedly better. That additional revenue would have meant lower deficits in each year and therefore lower overall debt. And lower debt means lower interest payments on that debt, further reducing deficits. In the “no Bush tax cuts” alternate universe, our debt-to-GDP ratio would be less than 50 percent this year even after all the other fiscal shocks of the past 10 years.

    Similarly, in a future without the Bush tax cuts, the national debt would be under control. In the Congressional Budget Office’s official baseline, the debt-to-GDP ratio rises by only 3 percentage points from 2012 to 2021 despite the retirement of the baby boomers. In large part, that’s because the CBO baseline assumes the full expiration of the tax cuts. And if instead of starting from almost 75 percent of GDP, we were starting from just 55 percent—which is where we’d be in 2012 if the Bush tax cuts had never happened—debt would stay below 60 percent for the remainder of the decade. There is no magic level above which the debt level becomes dangerous. But few, if any, consider 60 percent of GDP in debt as a significant risk to the country…

    And, as I haven’t said it in a while, I’d like to note that I’m still pissed at Obama for not fighting harder to kill these irresponsible tax gave-aways to the rich when he had a chance.

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      44 Comments

      1. Robert
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        High taxes cripple the economy. That’s why the economy was so bad in the mid 80s and mid 90s when taxes were even higher than they are now.

      2. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

        Mark, I agree with you on your basic point: if government had more money there would be less debt. (Some might even argue with that, suggesting that without the Bush tax cuts we’d have even less investment. I do not.)

        But the point is rather obvious. If Ypsi had passed the income tax, we’d have more money for parks and police. If there was no minimum wage, businesses could lower their personnel costs. If public schools charged tuition, we could pay teachers more. If we all had slaves, we wouldn’t have to do laundry.

        The root problem isn’t fiscal, it’s moral. We have come to equate freedom with “no one can tell anyone what to do with anything.” Working class people, who would benefit from higher taxes on the rich, are uncomfortable with telling the rich what to do with their money. The ultimate sin in our society isn’t greed, lust, exploitation, neglecting the poor, etc. — the ultimate sin is telling someone else what to do.

        This is the primary morality of our society, and it’s trickling down.

        Unless we’re able to redefine (and return to) a different social morality (maybe, “love thy neighbor as thyself”), all the talk about “being better off when” will fall limp.

        We need to talk about sacrifice. “What freedom would I sacrifice to stop global warming” is a start. But “What freedom would I not sacrifice to stop global warming” is much better, for introspection…

      3. EOS
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        O.K. I’ll start.

        I would not sacrifice a single freedom to stop global warming. Global warming is a scam without any science to back it up. The emails were released to the public. The data was fudged and the graphs were manipulated. You were sold a load of crap.

        Beware of agendas that provide the solution before the problem is even delineated.

      4. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        EOS, as you know, that was just an example I thought might resonate with some readers. I apologize for neglecting you. How about a more open, “what freedom would I sacrifice to love my neighbor”?

        Put more simply, would you have our society place higher significance on rights of self or well being of others? (Note that it’s a fairly direct question that I’d be glad for you to answer.)

        As an aside, should greed be legal?

      5. dragon
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        Mark, I agree with you on your basic point:
        Please listen to the bullshit I’m about to tell you.

        if government had more money there would be less debt.
        If I had more smarts, I’d be less stupid.

        (Some might even argue with that, suggesting that without the Bush tax cuts we’d have even less investment. I do not.)
        You might not believe it, but there are idiots in this world who know even less than me.

        But the point is rather obvious
        Right there, don’t cha feel it?

        If Ypsi had passed the income tax, we’d have more money for parks and police.
        Because I know exactly the amount of people who would have left Ypsilanti.

        If there was no minimum wage, businesses could lower their personnel costs.
        If slavery were legal, my overhead would be cut in half.

        If public schools charged tuition, we could pay teachers more.
        Proof?

        If we all had slaves, we wouldn’t have to do laundry.
        Finally, you make your point.

        The root problem isn’t fiscal, it’s moral.
        No, it’s fiscal. And quit touching your moral root!

        We have come to equate freedom with “no one can tell anyone what to do with anything.” Working class people, who would benefit from higher taxes on the rich, are uncomfortable with telling the rich what to do with their money.
        Fuck you!

        The ultimate sin in our society isn’t greed, lust, exploitation, neglecting the poor, etc. — the ultimate sin is telling someone else what to do.
        No, it’s greed.

        This is the primary morality of our society, and it’s trickling down.
        Put on your wetsuits.

        Unless we’re able to redefine (and return to) a different social morality (maybe, “love thy neighbor as thyself”), all the talk about “being better off when” will fall limp.
        God, all of this just because you have erectile dysfunction?

        We need to talk about sacrifice.
        Asshole!

        “What freedom would I sacrifice to stop global warming” is a start.
        The freedom to pay 4 dollars a gallon?

        But “What freedom would I not sacrifice to stop global warming” is much better, for introspection…
        I wouldn’t sacrifice the ability to call you a total douche bag.

      6. Roy
        Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        Four bucks a gallon is not so bad.

      7. James Madison
        Posted June 8, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

        EOS often proclaims himself to be a Christian, but his view of Jesus omit all of the Son of Man’s statements about love and charity, and judge not that you be not judged; his points about the least of those among us are as worthy of His love as any of us. EOS is the kind of Christian that gave Christianity a bad name.

      8. EOS
        Posted June 8, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

        My Bible says nothing about giving sacrificially to government bureaucracies. Placing the highest significance on the rights of each individual results in the greatest benefit to society as a whole. Economic freedom is the venue that allows Christians to provide food and shelter for their neighbors. If the government confiscates earnings above what is necessary for the individual, then the individual is prohibited from using the means of spiritual discernment to impact their neighbors to the greatest extent. Compare how individual American citizens donate to International disaster relief as opposed to what is contributed by the socialistic European nations.

      9. Posted June 8, 2011 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        I remember that I got a $200 check in the mail from Bush’s tax cuts. It felt like a bribe.

        Obama also implemented tax cuts, but I didn’t get a check in the mail.

      10. Mr. X
        Posted June 8, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        When the rich have more of our nation’s assets, they’ll be more likely to share. The problem is, they don’t have enough yet. Once they get another 10%, then we’ll see a golden age of philanthropy and all kinds of great things will happen. We just need to stand back and allow the Lord’s pro-business plan to unfold.

      11. EOS
        Posted June 8, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Mr. X,
        Try not to focus on class warfare for a second. Do you have a job that earns 10% more than your current needs? If we of the working class voluntarily contribute that 10%, we can solve the world’s problems without compulsory mandates or government intervention. I think that may be the Lord’s plan.

      12. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        The Gospel According to EOS.

      13. EOS
        Posted June 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        CBML- Keep Jesus out of your socialism!

        http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=1365610

      14. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Wow EOS, that was quite a link. I couldn’t read the socialist Christian left’s priorities on the image so I’ll add a larger link to the document here. It turns out what passes for socialism these days is providing school lunches and vaccines. And, was passes for “liberals” are yesterday’s heros.

        I’m more interested, however, in discussing Youssef’s op-ed that you linked to, if you have the patience. He said, “Jesus presented the obligation to help the poor as an individual responsibility, a Kingdom responsibility — not the duty of the secular government.” and later “the responsibility for mercy and compassion belongs to the church — not the government.”

        Yet, in his contrast between America and ancient Rome, he seems to applaud the U.S. government’s moral actions: “Just compare ancient Rome with America today. Rome sent its armies out to conquer; America sends its soldiers out to liberate. Rome demanded tribute from other nations; America sends aid and emergency relief around the world. Rome enslaved nations; America rebuilds nations.”

        So, to Youssef, it seems to laudable that the American government shows mercy oversees (through the military) but providing school lunches encroaches on the Church’s call to provide mercy at home. How doesn’t sending “relief around the world” then encroach on the Church’s call? Is the Church only called to show mercy at home, while the State show’s mercy abroad?

        Youssef also says, “Jesus had many opportunities to confront the Roman government about its spending priorities.” Jesus also had the many opportunities to confront the Roman government on its other priorities: torture, pedophilia, gluttony, murder, infanticide, polytheism…

        But, as Youssef notes, Jesus didn’t “preach” to the Romans on anything.

        Oddly, you seem to be quite willing to preach on some topics, but link to logically strange “pipe down” and “get morality out of government” post on others. Are the two great moral forces for America the military and the Christian faith? The military, for morality abroad, and Christians for morality at home?

        It is an article rich for discussion. I’m looking forward to your exposition of it.

      15. wetdolphinmissile
        Posted June 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        EOS, Jesus was the very best Socialist…get real, that is his biggest appeal and chief beauty

      16. Posted June 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Actually, that’s up to debate.

        Jesus advocated self-determination, individual accountability, and willful individual assistance to the poor and sick.

        On top of that, he was incredibly exclusionary, viewing heaven and the gifts of God as being reserved only for those who joined his exclusive club.

        I think it’s difficult to claim that Jesus was liberal and even more difficult to claim that he would have been a socialist. He certainly did advocate for social responsibility, but participation as such was left to the individual, who could opt out if so inclined.

        The result would only be that the person would be denied entry to his exclusive country club in the sky.

      17. EOS
        Posted June 11, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        CBML,

        It seems you’ve missed the whole point of Youssef’s thesis and have managed to distort his message in your summary. Jesus didn’t come to tell governments how they should operate. While on earth, he healed the sick and fed the hungry. He didn’t tell his followers to give money to the Roman government so that they could build medical clinics or soup kitchens. He certainly didn’t instruct his followers to ask their government to take money from the wealthy to accomplish these tasks and eliminate their personal guilt. Jesus preached his sermons to many Romans, but it was directed to individuals and not to the Roman government or the Roman empire.

        The text of the Sojourner’s ad states, “Our faith tells us that the moral test of a society is how it treats the poor.” This is wrong because it is a totally inadequate definition. Jesus spoke a lot about actions that He considered immoral: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, arrogance and foolishness…. The charity of individuals to the poor is a small aspect of Christian morality.

        Youssef’s article certainly didn’t suggest to “get morality out of government” nor does the Bible state or imply anywhere that a government with immoral, unbelieving leadership would benefit a nation. Youssef correctly points out the absurdity of the “What would Jesus cut from the budget?” question due to the fact that Jesus never addressed the issue of how secular governments should conduct their affairs. He taught believers to love God with all their hearts and submit every aspect of their lives to His will.

        I’m not a follower of Youssef and I don’t know much about him, but I will read part two when he posts it online. I imagine he’ll write about the apostle that commented on the woman who wasted money on expensive perfume when it could have been used to feed the poor. Jesus responded that she did the right thing. Maybe he’ll bring up 2Thess 3:10 If a man will not work, he shall not eat.

        And, FWIW, I thought your video clip containing Jesus’ response to the paralytic man was the funniest thing I’ve seen on this blog in a long time. Thanks for the laugh.

      18. EOS
        Posted June 14, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Part two:

        http://www.michaelyoussef.com/

      19. WJ
        Posted June 20, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        EOS, anon@f-m.fm

        Your claim that Europeans donate less is inaccurate.

        At first glance it may be reported like that. Generally, just looking at proportions of people who make financial donations put English speaking countries in a good light:
        https://www.cafonline.org/pdf/WorldGivingIndex28092010Print.pdf

        Furthermore, you refer to individual contributions, in which case the US is reported as being very charitable.
        http://www.economist.com/node/8706286?story_id=E1_RSDGNRG

        However, much of this “charity” goes to foundations and religions, not to poverty or disaster relief.
        http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/how-private-is-private-charity/

        Devling a little further into the European case you cited, you see that the Europeans are the leaders in public donations:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_charitable_countries

        The public US aid (0.2%) is practically enirely development aid, which has associated trade and economic conditions. European countries contribute 1.5 times the US in humanitarian aid.
        http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/GHA_Report8.pdf

        If you have visited Europe you’ll notice that people generally don’t tip in bars and restaurants. That is a difference between a socialist and a capitalist approach: they negociated fixed tips long ago to stablise a waiter’s revenues. Therefore, approx. 20% gratuities are included.
        In terms of giving, Europeans are informed directly about how much of their taxes go toward humanitarian aid, at the regional, national or European level.

        I think that if you went a litter deeper than the most convenient statistic, you would realise that people of equivalent standards of living around the world have approximately equal levels of giving at the individual level. Thinking that the US is exemplary in humanitarian giving is wishful thinking. (But thank God for the individual giving, without which the governement’s humanitarian aid would not stack up!)

        WJ

      20. EOS
        Posted June 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        part 3:

        http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=1374980

      21. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        EOS, I apologize for missing your response. I’ve book marked this page so I can check in weekly, at least. This is important discussion, for me. It also could be lengthy. But it may not be important for every reader. If you prefer, we can set up anonymous gmail/other accounts to continue the discussion. Let me know. For now I’ll respond here. You said “it seems you’ve missed the whole point of Youssef’s thesis and have managed to distort his message in your summary. Jesus didn’t come to tell governments how they should operate.”

        Yet whether or not Jesus told governments how to operate is central to my point. You are right, Jesus did not tell the Roman government how act. He made no moral demands on Rome. Any collective (rather than individual) moral prescriptions he made were against a religious authority (although the role between church and state were blurred by Roman occupation. Without Roman occupation the church and state were synonymous).

        There’s a lot in your links to discuss. Let’s start with the basics since if we can’t agree on those, the rest is tangential.

        Following Jesus example of not coming “to tell governments how they should operate” what is the role of Christians in promoting any sort of government enforced morality?

        If Jesus didn’t speak against Rome on any state sanctioned moral actions (“evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, arrogance and foolishness”), do modern Christians simply follow his lead?

      22. EOS
        Posted June 24, 2011 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        This is a huge topic for discussion. Christians have not only a duty, but also the right, as Americans, to prescribe biblical solutions to public moral questions. Here’s a few sites that have an enormous amount of information pertaining to your questions:

        http://www.coralridge.org/equip/10TruthsSeries/10 Truths About Christians And Politics/Default.aspx

        http://www.allaboutworldview.org/christian-politics.htm

      23. Posted June 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Keep mythical beings out of politics.

      24. Dirtgrain
        Posted June 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        What is a biblical solution?

      25. Posted June 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        To stone gays and unbelievers to death.

      26. Mark H.
        Posted June 24, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        EOS is one of the narrow minded Christians who fail to understand that there is more than one Christian way of thinking. For those of us who take the Sermon on the Mount seriously, EOS’s prescriptions are clearly wrong. Of course, the history of Christianity includes many Christians being killed by other Christians for being the wrong kind of Christian. Personally, I think all such intolerance was contrary to Jesus’s teachings; but I like the Sermon on the Mount. A lot.

        And I know EOS and many others disagree. Fine. They are entitled to their opinions, and I think God will set them straight, in His own time.

      27. Posted June 24, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Maybe his parents will employ a “biblical solution” and sell him into slavery.

      28. Posted June 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

        Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ”

        :)

      29. Dirtgrain
        Posted June 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).

      30. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 24, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        I apologize EOS, but I want to try to understand your perspective before responding to assumptions. You said:

        “It seems you’ve missed the whole point of Youssef’s thesis and have managed to distort his message in your summary. Jesus didn’t come to tell governments how they should operate.”

        Then you said:

        “Christians have not only a duty, but also the right, as Americans, to prescribe biblical solutions to public moral questions. ”

        Are you suggesting Christians prescribe morality but not through government/democracy? Please help me understand. What you’ve written seems so contradictory that I must be missing something.

        Mark H. My Knee Jerk reaction is to agree, but then am I not also failing to understand there’s more than one way of thinking?

        Dirtgrain, good question, if relevant. First we have to figure out if it matters.

        Peter L., if not mythical beings, who should define morality? You? Biology?

        Black J. it’s helpful to realize the categories in the SotM were not meant for separate groups of people … God loves peacemakers and the persecuted … but one group of people … the persecuted peacemakers. Simply being despised doesn’t count. Being despised for your otherworldly mercy, meekness and so forth is cause for rejoicing.

      31. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 25, 2011 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        Dirtgrain, amen. The longest uninterrupted moral code attributed to Jesus starts with the Beatitudes (blessed are the…) and follows through your reference to end of chapter seven:

        28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

        In it, a strange and hard greatest emphasis on self reflection and self sacrifice. Maybe I’m biased.

        But EOS is right, in it, I find no reference to Rome.

      32. EOS
        Posted June 25, 2011 at 5:14 am | Permalink

        Just because Jesus didn’t do something it doesn’t mean we should also not do it. Jesus never got married, yet I don’t hear any of you arguing that because He was not married, no one else should be.

        There is no logical way to apply the Sermon on the Mount to governments. It was directed to us as individuals. Imagine how ridiculous it would be if you went to a judge because someone had mugged you; and the judge insisted that we follow Christ’s admonition so you were now legally obliged to let the mugger hit your other cheek and take your clothes.

        But, the Bible does have many teachings about the purpose of civil government and the characteristics of good or bad government. Most people’s political views depend on deep-seated assumptions about several basic moral and even theological questions, such as whether God exists, whether absolute moral standards can be known, whether there is good and evil in each person’s heart, whether people should be accountable for their good and bad choices, whether property should belong to individuals or to society, and whether the purpose of the earth’s resources is to bring benefit to mankind.

        Look at the passages immediately after the sermon on the mount:

        “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

        “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

        In American politics, Christians have a seat at the table as much as everyone else. They are obligated to participate and share their moral views in order to influence society for the better. By participating, our “salt” will help preserve moral standards and our “light” will guide others to seek God themselves.

        Where there is ignorance of God, the people run wild, but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep His laws – Proverbs 29:18

      33. Posted June 25, 2011 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Black J. it’s helpful to realize the categories in the SotM were not meant for separate groups of people … God loves peacemakers and the persecuted … but one group of people … the persecuted peacemakers. Simply being despised doesn’t count. Being despised for your otherworldly mercy, meekness and so forth is cause for rejoicing.

        You’re partially right, in that that one group of people is called “Christians.” Being despised for Christ’s name sake is cause for rejoicing, not being despised for provocative self-righteous pseudo-pacifism for the furtherance of immorality and Marxist baloney.

      34. dragon
        Posted June 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        “The workers control the meats of pastrami!”

      35. notoneofthecoolkids
        Posted June 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        I have some great comments about the real topic of this post, but what is the point now. The Republican party loves it when their stupid base wastes precious time debating Jesus, it’s a great distraction. Keep ‘em busy preaching the gospel and they won’t notice that we are bending them over and fucking them in the ass.

      36. Dirtgrain
        Posted June 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        So that’s the biblical solution.

      37. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        EOS,

        You said: “But, the Bible does have many teachings about the purpose of civil government and the characteristics of good or bad government.” Predictably, here’s one such passage I’m thinking of:

        Then the LORD said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer. 3 “In that day,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “the songs in the temple will turn to wailing.[a] Many, many bodies—flung everywhere! Silence!” 4 Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, 5 saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”— skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, 6 buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

        Question 1: Which passages are you thinking of?

        Let’s for the moment say that greed is a sin (Question 2: can you at least give me that greed is a sin?) that is worthy of damnation (remembering that the only human individual identified in hades was a rich man who was neglecting both the law When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied and the prophets Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. )

        …let’s follow that sexual immorality is likewise a sin worthy of judgment. Question 3: Why do Christians (left and right) advocate for government censure of one, but not the other?

        Dirtgrain,not sure which comment you’re referencing, but I’m pretty sure there’s no emerging answers.

        notone, sorry. If EOS will agree, I’ll take this distraction to e-mail…

      38. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        Oh, and dragon: “pastrami is the fete of uncontrolled porkers.”

      39. EOS
        Posted June 26, 2011 at 1:22 am | Permalink

        Christians do advocate for a government that censures both acts of greed and sexual immorality, especially when they impact the innocent. I think there are far more laws that deal with the sin of greed than sexual immorality. Theft, burglary, robbery, embezzlement, fraud, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, check kiting, tax fraud, arson, mail fraud, identity theft, and bribery are just a few of the laws on the books that are necessary to restrain greed. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil.

        You might perceive a difference because there is no special interest group that is effectively calling for crimes concerning money to be legalized as there are groups today who call sexual sins “good”. There is no ongoing debate pitting the Christian moral views concerning monetary crimes against a secular group that claims “finders keepers”.

        Everybody has committed sins that are worthy of damnation. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23) Any sin is worthy of damnation. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) But Praise God that He sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…” (Ephesians 1:7)
        If we believe in Him as our Savior, He washes us clean from all our sin and gives us eternal life. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

      40. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        EOS, so it sounds like you’re more comfortable with government telling people what not to do (don’t defraud, don’t rob, etc.) than you are with government telling people what to do (fund school lunches, foreign relief, etc.)?

        Am I understanding your view correctly?

      41. EOS
        Posted June 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        No. My view is that the people tell government what to do.

      42. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        But then doesn’t government tell the people what to do based on what the people have told government to tell people not to do?

        Majority of people to government: “We don’t want to be robbed.”
        Government to people: “If you rob people you will be punished.”

        Majority of people to government: “We want everyone to shovel their sidewalks in the winter.”
        Government to people: “If you don’t shovel your sidewalks you’ll be fined.”

      43. EOS
        Posted June 27, 2011 at 6:20 am | Permalink

        Like Thoreau, I believe government is best that governs least. An individual should have freedom to choose and exercise their free will. Government should step in and restrict the individual only when that freedom negatively impacts other individuals. So I guess I am more comfortable when we vote to impose laws that restrict, rather than have the majority vote to determine individual choices.

      44. Can't Buy Me Love
        Posted June 27, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        Hey EOS, I spent some time on a reply but decided to delete it as it seemed unproductive to this format for a lot of reasons (if you want to know them, I’ll explain here). Instead, I created a gmail account. If you’d like to continue this discussion please e-mail eoscbmy@gmail.com.

        Obviously, any number of readers could have fun fucking with me by pretending to be you. If you decide to e-mail me, could you simply confirm that you did so here (no need to include an address).

        Grace and peace,

        CBMY

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