Where is the leadership we need nationally?!

/ 4 June 2003

This week has been full of national legislative news that makes me sick at heart. Jim Wallis says it best, when he writes: “Mr. President, you should be ashamed!” What kind of country are we, that takes money out of the hands of the poor to give it to the rich? That was exactly what happened in the final agreements in Congress over the tax cut legislation. I am beginning to wonder if there is anyone in DC paying attention. Robert Kuttner is also eloquent in pointing out that there is a real strategy behind the Bush plan — one that seeks to cut public services to starve government. Just like the “no child left behind” effort, we are being systematically led into situations where it appears that public services are not worth much. But we, as citizens of a democracy, don’t have to stand for it. We can believe that together we can accomplish more than any of us can alone. We can believe that government is actually capable of doing something more than, better than, simply gobbling up our resources to pay for military defense of our selfish consumption habits. And those of us with religious beliefs, particularly those of us who claim to be Christians, had better be paying attention to the “anawin” — the poor, the orphans and widows, and so on. Wallis is right — this is political sinfulness, and we ought to name it and condemn it.