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August 26, 2012

Column: Obama's 'compassion' comes at your expense


You have heard, and will hear, that Romney and Ryan want to steal money from the poor and elderly, so they can reward themselves and their rich friends with tax breaks. That ignores the fact that Romney wants t

o maintain lower tax rates for everyone, and eliminate deductions that mainly benefit the wealthy.

And you will hear, if you haven’t already, from those like Time contributor Erika Christakis that, “As near as we can tell, Jesus would advocate a tax rate somewhere between 50 percent ... and 100 percent,” for the wealthy.

This is one of the most absurd slogans yet, on a couple of levels. First, Christakis and others are invoking Jesus to support a public policy. If anyone else invokes Jesus on a topic they oppose, they rise up in outrage, foaming at the mouth about how it’s a violation of the separation of church and state.

Second, if Christakis wants to make this argument, she needs to point to the verse in the Bible where Jesus exhorts his followers to pay more taxes. He never does. He exhorts them to give to the poor, but never calls for the agen

t of “compassion” to be a secular government. He calls for the religious community to do it. If Democrats want to follow the teachings of Jesus here, they are asking for a theocracy.

Still, the constant subtext of all these attacks is: Romney and Ryan have no compassion.

And that is because Obama, Biden and their followers are preaching a distortion of real compassion. In their view, the only legitimate compassion is found in paying higher taxes. They fault Romney, who has given vastly more to charity, both in raw dollars and as a percentage of his income, than they have, for not “giving” more of that money to government. In their world, private charity and churches are illegitimate agents of compassion.

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