Mirror of Justice links to an interesting study by the Center for American Progress entitled "From Poverty to Prosperity: A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half." A noble aim, given that almost 40 million people live in poverty in the United States (one in eight), and poverty rates have risen dramatically under the Bush presidency (from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 12.6 percent in 2005). These figures are among the highest in the developed world. Inequality is also mushrooming, with the richest 1 percent of the population holding the largest share of income since 1929.
The study puts forward four key recommendations that, if implemented, would reduce poverty by 26 percent immediately. The recommendations are: (i) raise the minimum wage; (ii) expand the earned income tax credit (in-work benefits); (iii) provide childcare subsidies to poor families; (iv) expand the child tax credit.
The overall cost of these measures: $90 billion a year. To put this in perspective, Bush's tax cuts cost around $400 billion a year, while tax cuts for families making more than $200,000 a year alone costs more than $100 billion. And of course, the Iraq war: $420 billion and counting...
So there is a choice. It is possible to reverse the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush era, and still enact policies that would dramatically reduce poverty rates. Do we want to help the poor and the needy, as Christ commanded, or do we want to give handouts to the rich and spend money on war? For a Christian, the answer is clear. For the Bush administration, not so much.