The idea that the lower 47% pay no tax is incorrect. They pay taxes on every single item they buy, the same as you and I. The fact that they are not required to pay income tax must be your point.
Well, let's see, I don't think that taxing Warren Buffet at the same rate as me is unfair. And, it actually costs more to be impoverished. If you work hard and want to buy a house, but your income is lower, your interest rates will be higher to compensate for the risk the banks take in loaning to you. If you don't have the $100 to open a savings account at a bank, you will be charged a steep percentage every time you want to cash a check.
Half of all the jobs in our country pay less than $34,000 a year. In Missouri, the latest unemployment rate was 6.7% but our poverty rate was between 14.3 and 15.3%... this shows that people in our state are working, but still poor. Deciding that half our population is freeloading is part of the problem. Do you meet the eyes of the people who serve you dinner at a restaurant or change the oil in your car, or watch your children?
How is it fair to charge a millionaire 10% in taxes - when he has enough to shelter his family and ensure their basic necessities- and charge a single working mother that same 10% - knowing that it means some of those basic needs will go unmet? It's fine rhetoric, but it is not Christian or moral or fair.
Although many things do require money to fix, the first thing we have to do is rebuild our sense of community. The speakers at the Poverty Summit all identified a key problem- our society in general acts like poverty doesn't exist- or perpetuates the myths that people in poverty are lazy and unworthy of help. According to Gene Nichol the 400 wealthiest Americans - own more than the bottom 150,000,000. 400: 150 million. That is income disparity at it's finest.
We, as Americans, like to believe that those bottom 150 million could become wealthy...or even stable...but when you factor in that those children don't get the same access to food (look up food desert), education (rural schools are no better than inner city ones in many cases), safe and stable housing, or in so many cases- even have people who care about them and want them to succeed...where do we really think they are going to end up.
This is a moral challenge. As a society who says we believe in "one nation, under God"...we should demand that our policy makers practice the Christianity they preach and care for the poor.
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