John Livingston

A Different Catechism

“WE FEED THEM” Nancy Pelosi told Wolf Blitzer on the situation room in October of 2020.

On August 24th of this year, Joe Biden announced debt relief of up to $20,000 dollars for those holding Pell Grant Obligations, and $10,000 for non-Pell Grant debtors.

On September 1st Governor Little signed the $500 Rebate and Education Bill taking monies from a $2.3 surplus in tax revenues, and reallocating sales tax monies into education programs. The structure of these allocations can be found in the article below. Citizens receive a pittance of their taxes in the form of a rebate—it was their money (the fruit of their labors) to begin with.

For the sake of clarity, it is important that tax rebates and government transfer payments not be confused with charity. The government payments—and yes many of our politicians Democrats and Republicans at the State and Federal levels look at this redistribution through transfer payments as a form of charity and an obligation of their responsibility nominalistically redefined under “A NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT (order)” Locke and Hobbs debated these very issues in the 17th century. Today the Hobbesian view of government is replacing the vision of our Founding Fathers. In the case of the government’s forgiveness of loans, neither the government or the President, or any legislative body is in the position of creditor. The taxpayer—the We the People, are the ultimate creditor. Legislation that places restrictions on the opportunity of a creditor’s ability to collect debt, or imposes a new liability on the creditor, creates a moral hazard that limits the ability for subsequent commerce to be facilitated by the liquidity that debt introduces into the marketplace.

One other point in this regard. The position of someone in the Executive or Legislative branch of government is not one of creditor” but more like one of fiduciary who is acting between the “creditor—the people” and the recipient of the government largesse. If these government fiduciaries—governors, legislators, commissars, and heads of agencies acted the way they have with “the people’s assets” as a private fiduciary—think lawyer, CPA, doctor, or retirement advisor, they would be in jail for placing their client in such an over leveraged position and placing future assets at such a great risk! That is the truth. Many of them have privately so stated that truism to me on numerous occasions. When asked would you run your businesses and reconcile your books the way government is run, they say—”No way, I would go to jail” So government plays by a different set of rules with your assets. That is why so few in government or those who do business with government advocate for audits of their businesses or agencies. Your money (citizens and taxpayers)= no audit. Their business, their farm or ranch, their investment—always an audit. “Other people’s time, other people’s money, other people’s labor, assets and wealth” —no matter does not audit.

This truism serves as a bases between the differences in political and economic philosophy between progressive liberals and socialists, and free market conservatives. Our philosophy is based in Biblical and Enlightenment principles that have allowed for all of mankind to enjoy a standard of living that in the 15,000-year history of modern man has until 200 years ago never been able to be imagined.

From a moral perspective empathy and sympathy for the marginalized can be appreciated and by those with differing philosophies. Defining the problem is not the problem. A virtuous solution that requires compassion as well as justice and mercy is not “feeding a man a fish for a day” or forgiving student loans that aren’t yours to forgive, or subsidizing large health care systems and insurance companies—and not patients themselves thus creating the moral hazard of increased demand for which everybody pays a higher price—those paying taxes and paying for their own premiums are paying more out of their own pockets, while the suppliers of goods and services are getting richer and prices that were promised to go down continue to go up. We never had an $18million/2 yr. CEO of a hospital in Idaho until Obama Care!

Today more than at any time in our country there is a tendency to identify ourselves with a certain status, tribe, or class of people. Times past we were far more egalitarian even at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the “Gilded Era”. No economist or political philosopher has written more about the issue of class identity than Karl Marx. Marx saw the identity of the individual through the lens of economics and social class. This led to the idea of “class struggle”. Christianity and by extension free market capitalism and republicanism—as opposed to democracy, promotes not class warfare but cooperation, compassion, and reconciliation. The difference between the two is that Christianity insists on the universality of the offer of forgiveness, not to a clan or a tribe, but to an individual. Free markets don’t work unless buyers and sellers come together freely. Each believes they are getting the better end of the deal. In economics the debts, contracts, and business deals are transactional, and they are speculative—that is why when money is given in the short term and paid long term there is an interest rate. That is why the money we are receiving today and that will be paid for by future generations will cost more. Even when the government guarantees a transaction it is speculative, and the risk must be paid for. The government is not “GOD” where the transaction of debt—the forgiveness of sin is not transactional because it is not speculative. Many in government don’t understand the difference between transactional debt and transcendental (Providential) debt—A debt to which only God and the individual are party. The creditor (God) offers forgiveness, and the debtor is offered mercy, forgiveness, and an opportunity for reconciliation and redemption. The government is not creditor but fiduciary. The government should not be party to either a transactional or transcendental debt.

In (Luke 7:37-50) we find the familiar PARABLE OF THE DEBTORS. Books have been written about this and St. Francis and St. Thomas have written on this. In the parable there is an economic and a transcendental lesson—both intimately connected if one understands the connection between labor, wealth, and the fact that man was made in GOD” S IMAGE and because of that each one of us carries our own individual dignity and value—something Marx and his followers (progressive liberals and socialists) today could never understand. It is critical to never confuse government “investment” —transfer payments, tax rebates, or subsidies with charity or the forgiveness of transcendental sin with transactional debt. To do so would be a sin.

Below are two quotes. The first quote was repeated almost word for word on 7 Google searches including “The Democratic Underground” and two morning talk shows the day after student loan forgiveness was announced. Talk about PRAVDA FAKE NEWS! Can they at least pretend they don’t get talking points from the Obama—Rice—Brandon underground. The second is from a Catholic Priest Fr. Robert Sirico. See for yourself the “Biblical Difference”

“If you’re a Christian and you’re mad about the possibility of student loan debt being canceled, let me remind you that your entire faith is built upon a debt you couldn’t pay that someone stepped in and paid for you.” —Obviously not consistent with Biblical teachings.

“How interesting that Jesus would use the example (of debt) from the world of finance to illustrate a point so fundamental to Christianity itself. The economic lessons illustrate that there needs to be no inconsistency between justice and charity, in fact they can only mutually inform and reinforce each other The reality of the debt is never challenged in the parable nor is the obligation of the debtor or the promise of the benefactor.” Fr. Robert Sirico

It seems like Mr. Biden, Mrs. Pelosi, the Idaho Legislature and Governor Little are reading from the same New Age “Catechism” of Marx, Engels, Alinsky, and Obama. A very different perspective from where I come from.

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