Jim Wallis on the Republican Party, Health Care, and God's Will

A few excerpts from Jim Wallis' recent post.

 Let’s Get Theological on Health Care and Warfare

"The tax cuts that George Bush pushed through the Congress overwhelming benefited the richest people in America....But many Americans haven’t really calculated that the cost of those tax cuts for the rich was literally twice what health care reform is projected to cost. Twice. Yet, there was not even a mention from Republicans, then or now, about the fiscal cost of such enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America...How does that square with the biblical emphasis on the priority of the poor? There is simply no way to justify the habitual behavior of the current Republican party’s clear preference for the rich over everybody else."

 "The largest single government discretionary expense is for the military, for fighting wars. Military spending is also, historically, the most wasteful form of government spending with cost overruns, fiscal abuse, political corruption, and shameful pork barrel interests all standard operating procedures. So why is there a continual refusal from Republicans to apply their concerns about waste, fraud, and abuse about government expenditures to those expenditures? How does that square with the biblical call to peacemaking and the Christian doctrine that is, at least, suspicious of war as the answer to the problems of human conflict, which should either be outright rejected or very reluctantly accepted as an absolute last resort. There is simply no possible biblical mandate for giving the military a blank check as the current Republicans almost always do now."

 "Certainly, there are different and legitimate points of view among Christians and others about how best to fix the broken health care system, and there is no theological mandate supporting only one set of policy options. But the Republican alternative ideas for health care reform would cover only three million more people, unlike the President’s plan which covers ten times that many—30 million people. Again, how is that justifiable from a Christian perspective?"

"But the Republicans are not being truthful here. They are not really against government spending and for fiscal responsibility. They simply think the government should in its tax, spending, and regulatory policies do all it can to benefit the rich, over low- and middle-income people, and to uncritically support the business of war. Again, there is just no way to theologically defend that commitment. Sorry. I am making that as a theological statement and not just as a politically partisan one. Anyone care to provide a theological foundation for the Republican policy preferences for the rich and for war? I would really like to see it."