The Common Good

Don't Let Dysfunctional Politics Override the Christian Call for Justice

Date: March 18, 2013

As Christians, we must not let politics keep us from reaching reasonable solutions to serve those in our country who need it most. In my recent book, Fixing the Moral Deficit: A Balanced Way to Balance the Budget (IVP, 2012), I call for a 50-50 split in expenditure cuts and increased taxes on more wealthy Americans. I favor cutting the defense budget by $100 billion a year. I point out the gross, increasing inequality between rich and poor in America (1 percent of Americans now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent). Between 1993 and 2007, more than half of all the increase in income in the U.S. went to the richest 1 percent. Between 2002 and 2007, two-thirds of the increase went to the richest 1 percent. And in 2009-2010, the 1 percent received 93 percent of all the increased income in the country. My book explicitly details a number of ways to increase somewhat the taxes paid by richer Americans.

From the right, Mark Tooley of the Institute for Religion and Democracy praised my stand and then tried to contrast my position with "the atmospherics of the 'Circle of Protection' of 2011." Along with the National Association of Evangelicals, the Catholic bishops, Sojourners, Bread for the World, etc., Evangelicals for Social Action and I were—and are!—enthusiastic participants in the Circle of Protection. That group protected tens of billions of dollars from being cut for important poverty programs like food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit.