“What would Jesus do?” is a popular question posed by Christians facing moral dilemmas.
However, the man using it over the weekend was none other than Charlie Rangel, the disgraced slick-talking New York congressman who was caught cheating on his taxes while chairing the committee responsible for the tax code.
No, Rangel hasn’t found religion but he isn’t above using it when it suits his purpose. He’s been doing nonstop press interviews trying to prevent Republicans from following through on their promise to cut the size of our bloated government and get federal spending under control.
As the nation approaches its current limit on borrowing, Republicans are demanding entitlement reform and spending cuts to balance the nation’s books. Mr. Rangel and his Democrat colleagues want to raise taxes. Rangel has presented the stalemate as a struggle between the evil “haves” and the helpless “have nots.” He chastised ministers, priests, rabbis and imams for not speaking up for the down trodden – the people he claims to really care about — not the super rich he routinely shakes down in return for tax breaks and other favors.
Rangel claimed the richest Americans have the lowest tax rates since the 1950s? Not true: The current federal top marginal rate is 35%, which is four points higher than it was under George H. Bush, and seven points higher than it was under Ronald Reagan. So, where did he get that one?
Most likely, he repeated (incorrectly) an incorrect item thrown out on Wednesday by the president at his Twitter Town Hall Meeting. Obama stated, “We actually now have the lowest tax rates since the 1950s.” Either Rangel and Obama are two of the world’s biggest liars or they are absolute nincompoops. And these are the people running the country!
Why does the media let these men get away with these outrageous statements? Guess reporters are too busy taking apart every word uttered by Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann to notice.
It is true that overall tax revenues collected as a percentage of GDP this year are the lowest since 1950, but that has nothing to do with our high tax rates. It is due to the recession and tax loopholes carved out by politicians like Rangel. Anybody say tax reform?
Rangel went on: “Are you your brother’s keeper? Do we have obligations as a nation? Should we be allowed to kill? (He’s never been concerned about killing defenseless children in the womb.) Do we have an obligation to educate our kids, to get involved in creating jobs, to take care of our poor, to take care of our sick and to take care of those people that we know cannot take care of themselves?”
This is the same Charlie Rangel who also said, “If you think when I get up there with St. Peter and I find out there are different cards and Jesus doesn’t count as much as I thought, I am not playing the Jesus card.”
Liberals, like Rangel, don’t seem to understand the important difference between Christian charity and government welfare. Charity is a gift given by an individuals out of true love for his or her neighbor. Where charity is warm and personal, welfare is cold.
In the 60s, the Great Society programs that have done so much to destroy the moral underpinnings of this nation sprang from those who truly believed that a government handout was better than a personal hand up. Over the years, welfare developed into an entitlement — a right of those who do not hold jobs for whatever reason, or those who have children out of wedlock, to receive checks.
I have often wondered why liberals vigorously defend our broken welfare system. Maybe it’s because liberals don’t trust their neighbors to be as charitable as they are. Maybe it’s because they think that if the government forces everyone to give, they can give less. Therefore, they will end up with more. Or, maybe, just maybe, it’s because they think government welfare lets them completely off the hook. It does not!
Gifts that are freely given are not only important in the eyes of God, they do as much for the givers as they do for those on the receiving end of these selfless acts of love.
Yes, there are a lot of good, moral, hard-working people hurting now. What they need most are jobs – jobs that will come when we stop our out-of-control government spending and create some certainty in the marketplace. The last thing these people need is a tax on the job creators.
The last thing Christians need is a sermon from Charlie Rangel about Jesus.