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Friday, January 28, 2005

Jim Wallis, You Ought To Be Ashamed Of Yourself

Some of you may be familiar with Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and author of a new book, God’s Politics:Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It. I generally agree with Jim that Christianity transends politics.

However, Jim appears to be fairly left-wing and make the mistake in his book title: he doesn't get it. Specifically, he makes the common mistake of "I don't know much about economics but..."

I found this letter entitled, "Mr. President, You Ought To Be Ashamed Of Yourself", on one of his websites yesterday. Jim criticizes the tax cuts of 2003 as unfair and damaging to low-income families. Specifically, Jim mentions the exclusion of the child tax credit for families that make under $26,000.

I am going to assume that Jim simply doesn't know what he is talking about rather than assume more nefarious motives. What Jim fails to mention is that those families with incomes under $26,000 rarely if ever pay federal income taxes. What Jim is advocating is a federal handout to low-income families, not a tax cut.

I would recommend this article from the Heritage Institute and this article from the Cato Institute for a further explanation of this issue.

I know this seems like old news, but Jim Wallis's book is not. The fact of the matter is that capitalism will do more to help low-income families than any other economic system. I am also concerned that Jim's desire to see the government do more to help the poor abdicates the responsibility that Christians have to assist the poor.

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