Some Will Rob You With a Fountain Pen

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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News: “Senate Republicans Pass Sweeping Tax Bill,” via New York Times. “The Senate passed the most sweeping tax rewrite in decades early Saturday, with Republicans lining up to approve an overhaul that will touch almost every corner of the United States economy, affecting families, small business owners and multinational corporations, with the biggest benefits flowing to the highest-earning Americans.”

Scripture: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.” Isaiah 40:31

Bonus Scripture for a Depressing Day in Politics: “Let’s not get tired of doing good, because in time we’ll have a harvest if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
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Our country was just robbed:

  • The GOP tax bill (#TaxScam), built on a demonstrable lie that giving money to the richest somehow “trickles down” to the rest of us, passed the Senate. It looks well on its way to the President’s desk. That’s bad news for low- and moderate-income folks around the country and all Americans who believe the government’s priority should not be enriching the already extremely rich.
  • My union organizer parents named me after folk singer Woody Guthrie. His song Pretty Boy Floyd came to me today and helped me articulate my feelings about the GOP Tax Scam passed. Guthrie concludes his song with this reflection on life: “Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered, I’ve seen lots of funny men; Some will rob you with a six-gun, And some with a fountain pen.” That’s what the president is about to do: rob the 99% with a fountain pen.
  • What’s the Good News? The Democrats, even the conservative ones who represent states Trump won by large margins, stuck together. Not one Democrat voted for this GOP tax bill. It’s up to each of us to hold accountable the 51 Senators who did vote for this scam, and for rejecting to work with any Democrats on this legislation. Along with defending the Affordable Care Act, standing up for low and moderate income folks who were robbed should be at the core of Democrat’s agenda in the 2018 election.
  • A major political loss like this may lead some to grow weary. In addition to reflecting on today’s double dose of Scripture, watch this great video from Bernie Sanders. Bernie tells it like it is: “today is the day of one of the great robberies, criminal activities if you like, in the modern history of this country.” We can do everything we can to fight bad policies, but all advocacy is rooted in have a clear moral understanding of right and wrong. Bernie gets that and his fight day in and day out for economic justice has alwahs inspired me.

Act: The fight over this bill to give corporations huge tax cuts may be over, but economic justice battles are ongoing in communities across the country. Find a local group in your state to get involved with through the Center for Popular Democracy.

Pray: God, we are saddened by our country being robbed to give more money to the ultra-wealthy. We give thanks for economic justice-minded leaders like Bernie Sanders, who see the hurt and pain of working people and want to do something. We all want to do something more than charity to co-create a society that is free from people in need of charity. May we never grow tired in following your vision of economic justice for all people. Amen.

(Cross-posted from The Resistance Prays, the site of our good friend Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons. If you like his work, go there to sign up!)

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