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Thursday, March 25, 2010
Max Baucus, one of the top Democrats in the Senate, admitted today that Obamacare wasn't about giving health coverage to those few million without it. It was about redistributing wealth.

He said the following:
Too often, much of late, the last couple three years the mal-distribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.
See for yourself below... it's disturbing to see greed, entitlement, covetousness, and resentment be so baldly stated as if it were a good thing. We need to repent of this disease of class warfare, and now! Throw out politicians who encourage it, ignore the pundits who promote it (on either side), and decry it when your friends dare speak it. It's sin, and nothing more. Jesus came to reconcile ALL peoples... racially, economically, culturally, you name it. He didn't come that we might resent those who have more than us.

In related news, Fidel Castro thinks Obamacare is grand.


B.C. McWhite said...

Wait... what? It's the middle and lower classes who are guilty of "greed, entitlement, covetousness, and resentment"?

Not the upper classes, who have the vast majority of the wealth, but who are not greedy, entitled, covetous and resentful?

Darius said...

Everyone's capable of being greedy; greed (like all sin) doesn't make any distinctions for one's economic class. But it's not healthy when politicians encourage it, is it? Or, for that matter, when they encourage state-sponsored theft? Seems to be the antithesis of Christianity.

Question... who spends more percentage of their money on casinos and lotteries in this country? The middle and lower classes... by a mile.

PB, are you conflating wealth with greed? You almost seem to imply that. I don't think one has to be greedy to be wealthy. And even if that were the case, would it be really the best way to "advance the Gospel" to encourage resentment in those who aren't wealthy?

Darius said...

A couple more thoughts on the class warfare represented in Baucus' words and how it relates to Christianity... Jesus came and undermined the class warfare of his day. The Jews expected the Messiah to come make war against the political and economic powers of their day. Instead, He came and told them that there were no longer slaves and masters in his Kingdom, yet slaves should still honor and serve their earthly masters well. He told them to love their enemies. He asked his followers to take care of the poor and needy, NOT to force others to do so. He invited, never coerced.

Bryan C. McWhite said...

Several times I've heard you compare taxing to stealing. Do you think all taxing is stealing? The logic of your argument seems to be that if the upper class has to pay for some things for the lower class, that's stealing. That seems asinine to me.

So answer your question, "Who spends more percentage of their money on casinos and lotteries in this country?" You're right - it's the middle and lower classes by a mile. Where does that money go? The concerns of the wealthy. The wealthy are taxing the poor right back by running the lottery.

Chris A said...

Is this class warfare? Yes, but it requires more explanation for us to understand what is happening here.

The Democrats are simply using class warfare as a cover to distribute wealth - not to the lower and middle economic classes - but back to the banks! Don't be fooled by this rhetoric.

Of course this argument will get a lot of poorer people on the side of the Democrats [perhaps in some cases] because of covetousness or entitlement, but not greed. Health care has nothing to do with greed.

But in the end, guaranteeing the insurance companies who are owned by the banks an increased customer base into the tens of millions is a wealth distribution back to the rich! And when I say rich I don't mean the guy who is worth $5 million or something like that. That is barely rich anymore. These guys aren't in the "club". I'm talking about the banks and Wall Street.

So what Baucus is really doing here is making it seem as though they are helping out the little guy, and maybe most of them will be stupid enough to believe him. But make no mistake, though he may be taking advantage of attitudes of entitlement, the end result is the very same wealth distribution he pretends he is against. If anything this is going to widen the gap he is talking about because people are going to have less money in their pockets and may be demoted to a lower economic class as a result of having to pay for health care they may not be able to afford.

The lower economic classes of people may be happy if they get something for free, which will further agitate class warfare.

Chris A said...

You want to read about the real wealth distribution? Read this Bloomberg article. This is almost hard for even me to believe.

Darius said...

"If anything this is going to widen the gap he is talking about because people are going to have less money in their pockets and may be demoted to a lower economic class as a result of having to pay for health care they may not be able to afford.

The lower economic classes of people may be happy if they get something for free, which will further agitate class warfare."

That is the money quote, Chris. Excellent observation, and one I should have made earlier. Not only does this encourage class warfare, but it ultimately hurts those it pretends to help. That's the beauty (if one dare call it that) of Orwellian doublespeak and the politics of our day. One says one thing but does quite another but gets the political support he wants. Dangerous times when moral obfuscation is so commonplace.

Darius said...

"Several times I've heard you compare taxing to stealing. Do you think all taxing is stealing? The logic of your argument seems to be that if the upper class has to pay for some things for the lower class, that's stealing. That seems asinine to me."

Nope, some taxes are obviously necessary. I'm not a hyper libertarian/anarchist. My logic follows this line of thought: if taxes are used to support services which benefit all people (regardless of race, economic class, gender, and age) or benefit society as a whole and are things that individuals can't really do for themselves, then those are usually fine and dandy. In other words, as long as the taxes don't infringe on the freedoms set out in the original intentions of the founding fathers and the Constitution (which itself was based on Judeo-Christian values), generally I'm okay with them (probably some exceptions, but I can't think of them right now). Financing a standing army and police forces are two examples of a service that individuals can't do very well for themselves, benefit all people, and are constitutionally allowed.

If, however, citizens are taxed to do something that they could easily do for themselves (either as individuals or as a community) or only goes to benefit some other group and not themselves, then I generally view that as unBiblical (and unconstitutional) theft. Particularly if those taxes are used to offer a service or support a "right" that isn't enumerated in the Constitution or previously recognized in the history of the world, like health care or food.

Take food stamps, for example. 30 million(!) Americans receive food stamps. That's insane and a complete waste of money. Except in maybe the extreme cases, that money should be put back into the pockets of the American people and let the private charities and food shelves discern the facts of each individual case and decide who really needs food and who needs to stop wasting their money on booze and casinos. A federal government can't be discerning, they just have to dole out the money. I find it impossible to believe that 1 in 10 Americans need government assistance to buy food when 80% have a cell phone (which requires a monthly service fee) and 30-50% have cable or dish TV service. What Americans need is to start setting priorities.

Another way to look at taxes and government services is this. As many great Christian thinkers have pointed out, a consideration of positive versus negative rights must be discussed. PB, about a year ago I highlighted an interview of JP Moreland on this very topic. Here's the link, he does an excellent job of explaining how one develops a Biblically-faithful understanding of politics and civil involvement with an eye toward positive versus negative rights:

In fact, because it is so good and so apropos to right now, I think I will repost that interview today.

B.C. McWhite said...

I haven't read the Moreland article yet, but this makes good sense. Thanks, D.

Chris A said...

Darius, you may remember I was talking about Obama's plan for a civilian army and compulsory national service.

The compulsory part isn't completely manifest yet, but the creation of a new civilian force was part of the health care bill. And it looks like they could be deployed in a Martial Law scenario.


Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204) is amended to read as follows:



(1) IN GENERAL.–here shall be in the Service a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of national emergency.

(2) REQUIREMENT.–All commissioned officers shall be citizens of the United States and shall be appointed without regard to the civil-service laws and compensated without regard to the Classification Act 2 of 1923, as amended.

(3) APPOINTMENT.–Commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall be appointed by the President and commissioned officers of the Regular Corps shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(4) ACTIVE DUTY.–Commissioned officers of the Ready Reserve Corps shall at all times be subject to call to active duty by the Surgeon General, including active duty for the purpose of training

(5) WARRANT OFFICERS.–Warrant officers may be appointed to the Service for the purpose of providing support to the health and delivery systems maintained by the Service and any warrant officer appointed to the Service shall be considered for purposes of this Act and title 37, United States Code, to be a commissioned officer within the Commissioned Corps of the Service.

(b) ASSIMILATING RESERVE CORP OFFICERS INTO THE REGULAR CORPS.—Effective on the date of enactment of the Affordable Health Choices Act, all individuals classified as officers in the Reserve Corps under this section (as such section existed on the day before the date of enactment of such Act) and serving on active duty shall be deemed to be commissioned officers of the Regular Corps.


(1) PURPOSE.–The purpose of the Ready Reserve Corps is to fulfill the need to have additional Commissioned Corps personnel available on short notice (similar to the uniformed service’s reserve program) to assist regular Commissioned Corps personnel to meet both routine public health and emergency response missions.

(2) USES.–The Ready Reserve Corps shall–

(A) participate in routine training to meet the general and specific needs of the Commissioned Corps;

(B) be available and ready for involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises, similar to the uniformed service reserve personnel;

(C) be available for backfilling critical positions left vacant during deployment of active duty Commissioned Corps members, as well as for deployment to respond to public health emergencies, both foreign and domestic; and

(D) be available for service assignment in isolated, hardship, and medically underserved communities (as defined in section 399SS) to improve access to health services.

(d) FUNDING.—For the purpose of carrying out the duties and responsibilities of the Commissioned Corps under this section, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to the Office of the Surgeon General for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2014. Funds appropriated under this subsection shall be used for recruitment and training of Commissioned Corps Officers.

Darius said...

PB, here's a good post by Pastor Wilson on the differences between good taxation and bad taxation/theft:

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
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Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
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Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
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