Bernie Cochran: Drought of champions

January 4, 2014 

If the current Republican-controlled N.C. legislature wished to balance the state budget on the backs of the poor, what would it look like? There would be an unyielding commitment to no more tax increases for the 1 percent but significant tax increases for the middle class and, especially, for the poor.

The N&O reported Dec. 28 that the tax on single-wide mobile homes will jump from $300 to $1928.50 and on double-wides from $600 to $3,524.50. However, it will be argued, this is an equality-minded tax measure. If the 1 percent wish to buy a mobile home, they will bear the same tax burden as the poor.

Moreover, as Dorothy Parker observed: “The law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges.” Jews, Catholics, Protestants, conservatives and liberals agree that the Bible bears witness to God’s championing the cause of the poor. One would assume all “Bible-believing Christians” – outnumbered only by the sparrows in North Carolina – would do the same. Apparently not.

Bernard H. Cochran, Ph.D.

Professor emeritus, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Meredith College

Raleigh

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