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Tuesday, June 10, 2003

He liked tax collectors, too.

Adam Cohen writes in the New York Times today about conservative Alabama Governor Bob Riley's theological argument for progressive taxation (reg req'd).

[Riley] has framed the issue in starkly moral terms, arguing that the current Alabama tax system violates biblical teachings because Christians are prohibited from oppressing the poor.

Finally, a close reader! Cohen adds:

Alabama's tax-reform crusade is posing a pointed question to the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family and other groups that seek to import Christian values into national policy: If Jesus were active in politics today, wouldn't he be lobbying for the poor?

Yes, he would — especially in a place where the tax burden is so outrageously regressive: "The state income tax kicks in for families that earn as little a $4,600, when even Mississippi starts at over $19,000. . . . Alabamians with incomes under $13,000 pay 10.9 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes, while those who make over $229,000 pay just 4.1 percent." Back to you, Christian Coalition.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 10 June 2003 at 5:22 PM

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