I got an email from the Christian Family Coalition asking me to take part in a survey. The survey question was: “Should House Republican leaders cave in to President Obama’s demands and raise the debt ceiling again?”
The Christian Family Coalition? I’m frankly not sure this is the loving way Jesus would have framed the question. For one thing, everyone is demanding we raise the debt ceiling, not just President Obama, for the simple reason that Congress has already incurred this debt. The alternative is for the United States to default on its commitments, wrecking its credit. By the tone of its question, is the Christian Family Coalition saying that’s what we should do?
Apparently so. When the results of the poll were revealed, 85.2% said, no, we should not raise the debt ceiling (and another 3.2% were “unsure”).
It seems to me that “bully pulpit” has in recent years come to take on a whole new meaning. It’s bullies, preaching from the pulpit. In this case, preaching on behalf of those who would cut aid to the needy in order to protect millionaires and billionaires from having to pay even one cent more in tax on dividends and capital gains than they are paying today (15%) – let alone the 28% they paid under Ronald Reagan.
House Speaker Boehner, meanwhile, in his rebuttal last night, said that if hedge fund managers were in the same tax bracket as their secretaries, or if Exxon’s tax subsidies were eliminated, jobs would be lost. This is SO not true. Nor has he ever explained how, under the “job-killing” Clinton/Gore tax rates, we added 23 million new jobs, while under the magnificent Bush rates we have today, that must be preserved at all costs, we’ve added almost no jobs at all. His position makes no sense in theory (if anything, higher tax rates make it cheaper to hire new workers, as more of the tax-deductible cost is picked up by Uncle Sam) and it definitely makes no sense in practice – we’ve tried it.