What happens in the halls of national government – for better or for worse – can dictate the future course of America. Along with your fellow Prayer Team members, you are to be constantly and fervently interceding for all the men and women who serve in Congress, for your military leaders in the Pentagon, and for the President of the United States, his cabinet and administration.
“Inside Washington” will equip you to do just that … with reports on the nation’s leaders and the decisions they’re considering … or have already made. We’ll examine the implications for the nation, and call you to specific prayer for those needs.
How High Will They Go?
Democratic candidates promise jackpot for hurting Americans
By Jim Ray
Next time the Democratic Party schedules a presidential debate in Iowa, they might want to consider a more fitting venue. It’s true the folks putting on the event at Drake University in Des Moines served as perfectly professional hosts. But considering the solutions proposed, there was a more appropriate location nearby. From Drake University, you take Interstate 235 up to Interstate 80, and then head east. It’s only 13.2 miles to the place the candidate’s views really should have been showcased.
The Prairie Meadows Casino.
With two thousand slots, a sea of gambling tables and even a horse racing track, the Prairie Meadows Casino offers the ideal backdrop to the message of the Democratic Party. Both the gambling mecca and the politicians are, quite clearly, going after the very same group: people who are bad at math.
The Casino is a masterpiece of opulence and deception. All around are flashing lights, the super-amplified sounds of coins paying out into metal trays, a bevy of servers bearing cocktails, and—every which way you turn—the promises of an impending jackpot. The illusion is that the “house” is the wellspring of riches, and sooner or later it’s going to deliver big time. The reality? The “house” is entirely financed by the patrons themselves—most of them people of ordinary (or lesser) means who can ill-afford to be gambling.
Over at the Democratic National debate, the candidates were busy presenting themselves as the equivalent of giant political slot machines. When you pull the lever on the voting machine on election day and vote Democrat, they seemed to suggest (though not in those precise terms), you pull the handle on a political machine that will deliver a trove of riches, provided by someone else.
Each of them proposed a bedazzling array of new benefits to help the struggling middle class. Free college tuition for everyone, a higher minimum wage, “improvements” to the Affordable Care Act, and other astronomically-expensive new “investments.” The proposals varied, but the candidates were unified in their pledge to pay for all of it by making the rich—the greedy “one percenters,”—and corporations, pay their “fair share.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would pay for it by “taxing the wealthy more, closing corporate loopholes, deductions and other kinds of favorable treatment.” Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley said he would fund it “by the elimination of one big entitlement that we can no longer afford as a people. And that is the entitlement that many of our super wealthiest citizens feel they are entitled to pay, namely a much lower income tax rate …” And Senator Bernie Sanders, asked how high he would go with tax rate, said “we haven’t come up with an exact number yet.”
These campaign promises are inherently dishonest and clearly aimed at Americans who do not understand, or do not pay attention to, the underlying math. Here are some facts:
- According to the latest data released by the IRS (2013), the top one percent of taxpayers earned $1.7 trillion dollars. If you took all their money, it would not even cover ten percent of the national debt. It certainly wouldn’t pay for the programs proposed by the Democrats.
- The top ten percent of taxpayers already pay two-thirds of all income taxes. The bottom half of taxpayers—that’s 70 million Americans—together pay less than three percent of all income taxes.
- The United States already has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. In the last ten years, 47 major companies have left and established home base overseas to avoid the taxation. Raising corporate taxes may thus decrease, not increase, tax revenue.
It is certainly reasonable to debate whether taxes should be raised or lowered on any particular income group. But to suggest to Americans that their lives will be improved by “cashing in” on the wealthy is an argument that simply doesn’t add up. To get off the path to bankruptcy, the government must, first and foremost, spend less. Then, it will likely also have to raise taxes, in one form or another, on almost everyone—not just the wealthy. Shared sacrifice will be required.
- Pray for—and do what you can to personally minister to those within your reach—who are struggling financially.
- Pray that your leaders will forthrightly address America’s fiscal problems.
- Pray for America’s next President—that he or she will honor biblical principles.
Jim Ray is a writer, fundraiser and consultant. He and his wife Stacey have two children and reside in Nashville, TN.
The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
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