If the Ryan Budget passes, will it actually help the poor?
I was just listening to an interview with an evangelical Christian leader, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins. Martin Bashir asked Perkins how the Evangelical community reconciles their stances against marriage equality with their support of GOP efforts to defund all federal help for the poor. The implied accusation is the Christian Right uses selective application of the scriptures much like some of the so-called Constitutionalists pick and choose what parts of the document they like, and ignore those parts that don’t suit their ideology.
Many on the Christian Right have been stolidly silent and some have even been a cheer-leading choir for the Ryan reconciliation budget, which will cut:
• Social Services block grants for 23 million people
• Child care for 4.4 million poor children
• Meals on Wheels that currently feeds 1.7 million senior citizens
• Transportation services for 1 million disabled Americans
Note that all these cuts do little of anything to pay down current debt levels, because they are offset by further tax breaks for the very wealthy. We’ve had enough experience with self-financing tax cuts by now to know that’s as big a fantasy as Dick Cheney’s claim the Iraq war would pay for itself.
Perkins maintains that the poor can’t be properly helped by government. He says this should be left to the churches. Didn’t we have churches back in the past when the poor begged in the streets and died of starvation or hypothermia as they lived in homelessness and misery with no hope of escape? What makes Perkins honestly think that churches, which spend such a huge percentage of their donated capital on building ever more glorious houses of worship, acquiring property and business, and collecting fabulous artifacts and works of art; will actually do more to support the poor now than they did when they were the only institution charged with the job. If they really want to lift the poor out of poverty, what’s stopping them from doing it now?
What would Jesus say about the Ryan budget? What would Jesus say about the enormous wealth of the world’s churches being tied up in gilded buildings, art collections, and secular investments?
This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.