Moral Contradictions

Monday, May 22, 2006

I must defer... better writers than myself, as I seem to write posts in ways that are inconsistent with why I began and continue this blog.

On my daily saunter through my favorite internet watering holes, I read an article over at Ethics Daily titled "House Speaker Says Middle Class Doesn't Pay Taxes" by Bob Allen. These two paragraphs are the crux I was attempting to locate in my previous post:

Susan Pace Hamill, a University of Alabama law professor who writes on morality and taxes, said in a recent paper that President Bush's tax policies fall short of justice standards in the Old and New Testaments by benefiting the wealthy, shifting the share of tax burden to middle and lower classes and forcing cuts in safety net programs for the poor.

"To this point, I have been baffled by Republican budget and tax priorities that value millionaires and billionaires above working families, and sink this nation's budget deeper in debt every year," James Clyburn, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus said in a statement. "But Speaker Hastert crystallized GOP budget philosophy—working families don't pay taxes and don't deserve a tax cut."

I was not just questioning the facts of Speaker Hastert's assertion, (which in some ways are truthful, but in reality, they're not) but rather I wished to challenge his motivations and his assumptions. Why spin and justify tax cuts with this blanket statement? Why, admist all the pressing concerns of our nation, many of which have a deep moral component, did we need even further budget cuts? Why now?

Mr. Hastert's comments struck me as paternalistic, dismissive, arrogant, and down-right delusional. Maybe I'm wrong to believe reading through the lines reveals "this doesn't concern you, trust us we know what we are doing, and if you keep quiet maybe we'll consider some meaningful issues if politics necessitates." Did what he say inspire you and give you confidence as we all climb toward the American dream? I felt like I was told to run along and not to speak unless spoken to.

Working and middle-class families could use a message of hope right now in these dark times, yet instead received a glimpse of our leaders' ignorance and disinterest of the plight of everyday Americans they pledged to serve.


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