Religious leaders speak out against GOP budget

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  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    March 23, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    I recall a time when churches had absolute power. If the tenants of their faith are suppose to "re-distribute the wealth" they did a very poor job of doing that.

    The reason we have the system, or at least use to have this system, was to give everyone a chance with their own hands and skills and brains; to labor for their own increase and the pursuit of their own happiness. Without religion, without politicians, without those who refuse to work, who steal everything that you work hard to gather.

    Then if you choose to give away and re-distribute your own wealth, then that is your choice. Your use of agency, your freedom, your charity. It is between you and God alone what you donate and who you donate to. I have never read anything in the Bible that tells us to re-distribute our wealth by surrendering it to the government and let them buy votes and power with it and steal from it. However I have read to stay out of debt and usury. Why can't the politicians take those teachings and live it? Stop running up debt with usury!

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    March 23, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    The question should be:will taxing the wealthy even more help the economy? The answer it has not in the past Second: will reduceing taxes on the wealthiest help the poor? Under Bush the tax cuts for the wealthy resulted in 10 million of the poor going off the tax rolls and the rich paid in more taxes than ever. Unless we do something we will be in real trouble. We are vastly overloaded with government workers and red tape and a bloated welfare system, plus not to forget medicare and social security underfunded to dangerous levelsand an enormous national debt. This is the nation that produced during WWII one half of the world's GDP. That is the system we want not a inefficient socialist system we are being forced into.

  • SR71 Buena Vista, VA
    March 23, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    Truthseeker: Thanks for the statistics. They show what I was trying to say: single motherhood tends to promote poverty. (Not always, of course - I'm speaking in general terms). Often (not always) single motherhood can be prevented (I'm talking about abstinence, not abortion). Instead of the government bailing out poor single parent families, it should be enacting policies that seek to prevent (not encourage) single parenthood. Not that the govt. should never bail out people when truly desperate; but the emphasis should be on prevention - on living the law of chastity, for starters (not that all single parents broke that law, but in the inner city, many do, and the biological fathers do not seek to be real fathers). Under liberal policies, this emphasis doesn't seem to be there; rather, it is go out and do what you want to do, and we'll pay for your child support. This is why, at least often, faith-based charity works better than govt. handouts.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 23, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    The biggest sources of govt spending are Social Security and Medicare.

    Everybody pays taxes. The poor pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than the wealthy. The Earned Income Tax (EITC) Credit, first introduced by Reagan, which reduces the amount of income tax lower income levels pay, has been expanded by every President since.

    Poverty is a significant factor in the success of a child. A bright, intelligent poor child has a lower rate of success than middle or upper income children of average intelligence.

    What are Republican solutions for helping poor children?
    So far all we've seen is an effort to defund clinics that provide care to poor women and a "survival of the fittest mentality."

    So where does the LDS church stand on this issue?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 23, 2012 7:35 a.m.


    Of the 27 industrialized countries studied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States had 25.8 percent of children being raised by a single parent, compared with an average of 14.9 percent across the other countries.

    Ireland was second (24.3 percent), followed by New Zealand (23.7 percent). Greece, Spain, Italy, and Luxembourg had among the lowest percentages of children in single-parent homes.

    Single parents in the United States were more likely to be employed — 35.8 percent compared to a 21.3 percent average — but they also had higher rates of poverty, the report found.

    “The in-work poverty is higher in the US than other OECD countries, because at the bottom end of the labor market, earnings are very low,’’ said Willem Adema, a senior economist in the group’s social policy division. “For parents, the risk is higher because they have to make expenditures on childcare costs.’’

    The U.S. is the only OECD country that does not have a national paid parental leave policy.

    This is particularly difficult for unwed mothers, who may not be able to afford to take time off.
    (Washington Post)

  • SR71 Buena Vista, VA
    March 23, 2012 6:42 a.m.

    What is the number one reason African Americans are poorer, on average, than white or Asian Americans? It is because about 75-80% of the kids don't have a father in the home. (Yes there may be other reasons, but this is the main one, and to ignore it and blame racism would be foolish.) Lack of fathers also results in more gang membership and incarceration. (Note: in England, the white illegitimacy rate is just as high as the black rate in the US, and, in the US, whites are unfortunately on track to catch up.) Did racism cause this? No, it was govt. welfare programs, and their unintended consequences. Look at how the Catholic church supported Obamacare in the name of religiously-inspired charity, but then Obamacare's mandate of free birth control came around to bite them. Aside from some safety nets to protect life, govt. welfare is not the answer. Great intentions but always, always, bad unintended consequences.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 23, 2012 6:40 a.m.

    Republican conservatives are very insistant we reduce the deficit, and rightfully so. Problem is they want the entire burden of doing this to be placed on the poor and middle class. Some of their plans even reduce taxes on of the upper income tax bracket.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    March 22, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    What is immoral is the womb to the tomb mentality and sense of entitlement among a growing percentage of the citizenry including these religious leaders.

    Almost half of adults in this country pay ZERO income taxes. No wonder we have a huge deficit that is more a result of medicare, medicade and other entitlement programs than any other category.

  • Getting it Right Sunnyvale, CA
    March 22, 2012 5:06 p.m.

    In my opinion, the government should start cutting expenses by removing Earned Income Credit. I do not see any benefit from this program.

  • Getting it Right Sunnyvale, CA
    March 22, 2012 5:03 p.m.

    Remove earned income credit...

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    March 22, 2012 12:16 p.m.


    Liberal double standard. They love to shout "Separate church and state" unless the "church" agrees with them, then they become silent. There are YouTube videos showing liberal politicians speaking at churches and meeting with religious leaders. Where's the ACLU?

    It's just like free speech. Liberal pundits can bash women all they want, but when a single conservative does it, the call goes out for him to be shut down and arrested.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 22, 2012 11:35 a.m.


    Good point although the government entitlements I am talking about relate to personal welfare checks and all the other handouts which are unsustainable....unless you simply decide as a society that you are content to continue with the entitlements all the way to bankruptcy like Greece and the state of California. Not a good plan I think you would agree.

    These corporations you speak of are critical to the US economy so having incentives for them is important. It is very important that all these corporations do well and that is where a SMART president comes in. What we need (and don't presently have) is a president who is pro-business, pro-capitalism and understands that in order for all of us to succeed we must have government / business partnerships (not government take over). You are correct however that those business partnerships must be monitored and controlled to avoid abuses and waste.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    March 22, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    @Seronac: The only problem with eliminating income tax is that a national tax on goods and services would penalize the middle class and place on them the burdens of funding the entire nation.

    The rich don't spend money, they save it... so you'd get virtually no tax income from them.
    Much of the money the poor has comes from the government anyways, so you aren't gaining anything there.
    The middle class average Joes are the ones out there spending 80-100% of their paycheck every week. They buy the electronics, they go out to eat, they see movies, they go on vacations. Three quarters of our economy is consumer spending, done mostly by the middle class. If you put a 20% tax on the stuff they buy you only erode their purchasing power further.

  • Seronac Orem, UT
    March 22, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    And while we're at it, convert the income tax to a flat tax with no deductions and no exemptions, OR repeal the income tax entirely (since it's stupid to tax production), and institute the Fair Tax; and repeal income taxes for businesses, since it's just an expense that gets passed on to consumers. Also, no special incentives, programs or pensions for elected government employees, just a flat annual salary.

  • Seronac Orem, UT
    March 22, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    What's immoral is confiscating the income of working people to redistribute to people who don't work. Any contributions to the poor should be voluntary on the part of the givers, not forced by the government. And anyone receiving such compensation should do everything they can to be independent and self-sufficient, and not mooch off of others. On the other hand, we should give generously to the poor, of our own free will and choice.

    Any budget that works to end the dole, reduce taxes and get the country out of debt is a step in the right direction.

  • floridadan Palm Bay, Fl
    March 22, 2012 5:28 a.m.

    I believe in taking care of the poor and needy, not the lazy and greedy !! Take care of those who need help, not the people who WILL not work.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    March 21, 2012 6:26 p.m.

    Christianity doesn't tell us what the answers are in politics. It tells us what questions to ask. The clergy quoted in the article may be perfectly fine clergymen but as political economists, they're perfectly fine clergymen.

    I assert that the poor do better under a freer economic system than under an unfree one. I assert that it is immoral to advocate for the perpetuation of programs that, if kept on their present course, will bankrupt the country and make it impossible to pay for *any* aid for the needy. I assert that it is immoral to take one dime more in taxes than is needed to pay for legitimate public needs, which include aiding the needy but do not include "reducing income inequality" once the needy are aided, and that it is immoral to maintain a wasteful system of taxation when the same ends could be achieved with less cost.

    How to achieve justice and mercy in the public sphere are matters for people's prudential judgments, and I am glad that the LDS Church, unlike these false priests, understands that.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    March 21, 2012 5:51 p.m.


    I agree, let's cut the entitlement programs. Including those to big corporations like Boeing, Chevron, Exxon, Big Pharma, the military-industrial complex, etc. These companies also receive numerous monies from the government. How many times have we heard of military contractors being over budget and behind schedule on their projects? Yet they continue to receive handouts. Oils companies also receive huge handouts from the government. In fact, many times their tax burden is zero, thanks to all the tax breaks they receive.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2012 4:36 p.m.

    Hmmm. So far I've not seen any of the typical "Separation Of Church And State" comments that usually follow statements from religious types regarding the functions of government.

    Most of those kinds of comments come from people who are usually regarded as "liberal" and/or socialistic. And, from my experience, I'd say that the more liberal the more vociferous is the protest against any expression about what governments ought or ought not to do by religious organizations or people.

    But, as yet, I've not heard or read a word of protest! Why are they not mounting the almost knee-jerk condemnations that follow virtually any other announcement this type? What gives??

    Could it be that they are agreeing with this particular group of religious organizations or people?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 21, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    8plex says: 50% don't pay a dime in taxes.

    Please that has been proven False many, many times even thought your radio tells you otherwise.
    ... and if you mean income tax the wealthy that you worship don't pay it either, they pay capital gains like Romney at a whopping.... what was it almost 14% (of what he keeps in the light.)

    8plex says: The hypocritical religious leaders will be facing a bankrupt country.

    Religious folk are now Hypocritical for trying to protect the sick the down trodden?
    At least those saintly wealthy have the GOP to protect them from the "hypocritical religious leaders"

    The tent gets smaller and smaller

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    March 21, 2012 3:59 p.m.

    @Dart Thrower; Thank You!

    Military projects that should be scrapped.

    F-35 fighter. We don't need it... buy more F-16s and F/A-18s to replace older airframes that are retired. They offer proven capability and can accept all the modern electronics upgrades at a fraction of the cost.

    CV-22 tiltrotor. Expensive and useless. The blackhawk helicopter can do everything the CV-22 can and costs much less.

    Ford class carrier: Complete waste. The Nimitz class carriers have decades of life left and do NOT need to be replaced on a 1 for 1 basis as they reach the end of their lifespan. We don't need ten aircraft carriers in service, 5 or 6 is more than enough to have several deployed to hotspots around the world and a couple held in reserve. With the presence of land bases for aircraft dotted all across the globe the value of carrier airpower is limited anyways.

    Getting rid of those 3 programs would eliminate some $18 billion from the DoD budget.

    America does NOT need to be the world's police force. Let our NATO and UN allies pick up some of the slack in keeping the world safe from terrorists and crackpots.

  • 8plex Alpine, UT
    March 21, 2012 3:45 p.m.

    It used to be that if you didn't work you didn't eat. When people are forced to pay for non-workers who are capable of working and then those same non-workers cry foul at the workers revolution is at hand. When people are assigned to be feeling and to do good they cannot do good but they can only fulfill their duty. 50% don't pay a dime in taxes. That means 50% shouldn't have a say where the tax dollars go. However, in society today the 50% have time to get on social media boards, picket, write up a storm and change policy while the others are busy providing for their family and the free loaders.
    Take Ryan's budget or not. The hypocritical religious leaders will be facing a bankrupt country. Why isn't their message to get people to produce more so that there are more resources available for their indigent and handicapped people? There is another saying - To he who has 5 talents shall be given another 5 more and from him who hid his one will be taken even what he has.

  • Dart Thrower Ogden, UT
    March 21, 2012 2:45 p.m.

    The Air Force is currently developing a next generation fighter called the F-35. It is now years behind in development and over-cost. The total lifetime cost for this fighter is predicted to be One Trillion Dollars. That is a Thousand Billion Dollars. And why do we need this? In the last forty years or so, the US Armed Forces have lost fewer than 50 airplanes in combat, despite almost constant war. Our F-22 is the only fifth generation aircraft on the planet. Our F-15s and F-18s are still so good that Boeing is using them to compete for business in Korea and Japan. They are still leading edge. Yet, the military-industrial complex supported by Congress feel the need to obligate the US Taxpayers to spend a Thousand Billion Dollars for aircraft that will be another full generation of what anyone will have in the same time period. And the GOP wants to give the rich another Four Thousand Billion Dollar tax cut to the wealthy at the same time. Insanity.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 21, 2012 1:14 p.m.

    define economic fairness ....

    Is fairness unemployment for all? Is fairness 16 trillion in debt set to be 20 trillion in 4 more years ?

    Liberals will not reign in entitlements (ever) and all the government hand out takers are used to living off the government so taking that away means they will have to work now. Not going to happen .... willingly. If you GIVE your kids 1000 a month in allowance for 5 years making them do NOTHING at all to earn it and then suddenly tell them they are going to have to start working for the allowance what do you think the reaction will be ? Very predictable outrage!!

    Ryan is a SMART guy but nothing of value will EVER get passed in Congress until Obama and Reid are gone! Liberals live to make people dependent - it is how they keep power so giving people the chance at self reliance sort of shatters that agenda.

    America will be like Greece unless a budget like Ryan's is adopted ...soon....and that is reality and then there will be screaming and burning cars in the streets as people protest about government bankruptcy! How fair is that????

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 21, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    There are certainly things that need to be done on the spending cut side, but to continue to treat the wealthiest of Americans like victims is only going to make the problem worse. Could someone tell me why the wealthiest of the wealthy who are the only ones to profit in this current economic downturn need a tax cut? They have made huge profits and haven't been creating jobs, why would one think they would start now? Ryan's plan will only make the rich richer and everyone else poor.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 21, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    It's OK, I've read dozens of posts from GOP supporters that claim Churches should and can provide all the charity, food, and shelter that lazy/needy/old people and children in America depend on.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    March 21, 2012 10:08 a.m.

    Just another step towards the eventual destruction of the middle class and a return to the Feudal system, where all means of economic growth are owned by the sociopolitical elite.