In response to President Obama’s debt reduction plan, the pundits on the “other side” are quick to point out, with a sense of anger and righteous indignation, that 51% of all Americans do not pay federal income tax. I am astonished by that number. Not because that many people are clever enough to have found tax loopholes to avoid paying income tax, but because that many people in our country – one of the wealthiest countries in the world – are so poor that they fall below the minimum income tax level. 51% of our fellow citizens!
Maybe we should, within reason, require every citizen to pay something…
One hundred dollars?
So that everyone has a part in supporting the work we ask and expect the government to do. After all, even the developmentally disabled women who attend worship each week at our church add their coins to the offering. And, I would guess that most of that 51% would love to have a decent enough job that they could not only support and care for their family, but also pay their income tax.
It is sad…
And more than sad…
That 51% of our neighbors live so close to the edge.
Rather than being angry at them I think we should be asking “Why so many? and “What can we do?” And, maybe even remember the words of Jesus who said, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me…”