Deuteronomy 10:17 “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the fatherless and the widows, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.”
Godonomics is built on the foundation of the impartial rule of just laws. Everyone is treated and judged the same–regardless of race, background, or socioeconomic background. Sound American? Sound like common sense? Sound like the hope of justice for all? It’s the difference between a Democracy and a Republic. A republic is a nation founded on the rule of law, not just public opinion. Our bill of rights lays out many moral realities that can’t be “voted away” because they are endowed by our Creator.
Today, justice is losing her blindness. Rich people are taxed, demonized, and blamed unequally to the middle class and poor; while the poor find themselves with more convictions, death penalties, and less plea-bargains than those with financial backing. The same law that sends a tax cheater to prison if they “happen to be citizens” now bends to let off a “very important politician.” There are blue laws and red laws, rich laws and poor laws, and rich tax rates and poor tax handouts.
Taxation too must be built on the impartial rule of law and be rooted in the moral law of God. As Martin Luther King Jr said in his letter from an Alabama jail, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of Harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, “An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.” This truth applies to equal access to impartial justice on every subject: racial or economic. If your tax code punishes people differently (ie. taxing one person differently from another based on race or financial success), it is unjust. If criminal law offers different consequences for the rich vs poor, that law(or system that administers it) is immoral.
If a nation’s tax code punishes the ant who stores up food and treasure, while rewarding the sluggard who lays around; it is unwise, unjust, and immoral. We need deeper thinkers to lead our nation–thinkers whose thoughts are rooted in the moral law. Today when the tax code even remotely thinks about moving toward equality; politicians bring out sound bytes like, “We gave a $2 million dollar tax break to industry, and only a $200 tax break for the middle class, That’s not fair!! That’s not justice.”Hmmmm, let’s take off the political bumper stickers, and go back to basic mathematics. If person “A” makes $100,000 and pays 10% in taxes, they result would be a $10,000 check to the government. If person “B” makes $10,000 and pays 10%, they pay $1,000 to the government. If a new law lowers the percentage of taxation to 9% equally to everyone, Person “A” saves $1,000 and Person “B” saves $100. That’s not unjust. That’s math!
Today, the inequality is far worse than just math, as Person “A’s” rate is astronomically higher than Person “B’s.” The top 50% income earners pay 96.54% of all income taxes. The top 1% pays more than a third at 34.27%. And, despite this inequality, most uninformed voters can recite the bumper sticker sound byte, rather than be outraged by the inequality and partial treatment.
Far worse is the fact that an ever-increasing percentage of “B’s” not only pay nothing, but receive money in return. How? Government uses unjust laws to steal from “A” and give to “B.” Who are the “A’s” that are getting robbed? Depends on who’s in charge. The Democrats get in power and funnel money to their special interests and groups that got them elected. The Republicans get in charge and syphon money from tax payers to bail out corporations and pay for their special friends. And who gets hurt the most? The rich? The poor? No, everyone! Isn’t the solution to tax the corporations more? Well… let’s look at the consequences. When you increase taxes on “the wealthy,” it results in taxing the poor, because the prices for products go up and jobs go down.
Think of this like a teeter-totter. If there are two equally weighted children on each side of the teeter-totter, the children can play for hours. On one side of the board is our rich “job-and-product” creator. On the other side is our middle class or poor “job-and-product” receiver. One provides jobs that benefit the other side who need jobs. One makes products that uplift the side that needs products. The balance of play is determined by the free market’s focus on price and quality. If the provider produces products of inferior quality or price, no one buys them, forcing them to adjust the “weight” of the price, to benefit the other side.
Now imagine that some overprotective mom comes to the playground and makes the child on one side wear a helmet, boots, a backpack, and a snow suit. This child is a LOT heavier. Lifting him up is a lot harder. But, mom isn’t done tinkering. She goes over to the other side of the teeter totter and duct tapes the other child’s hands to the handle and body to the board, so he won’t jump off. She smiles and says, “You two enjoy.” One child has become an increased burden of weight while the other has been seriously restricted and handicapped –to totter to the best of his ability. And the whole play experience goes down the proverbial toilet. This is what happens when momma government comes in and regulates and taxes the producers unjustly; by tying their hands with bureaucracy, while demanding benefits and expenses that increase the weight of each employee. And mom is shocked when her child is left alone on the playground, while the producer outsources to a better playground in India.