The Spokesman-Review

Letters to the Editor

Taxation isn’t charity

This is in response to Alexander Shogan Jr.’s letter (Nov. 22).

Shogan asserts that government officials should consider Matthew 25:31-46 when discussing the food stamp program’s budget. This passage describes the final judgment, when those who gave food to the hungry inherit the kingdom of Heaven and those who did not went off to eternal punishment.

When a government takes money from one person and gives that money to another, it is not charity. It is forced redistribution. While the government justifies the need of the person they give the money to, whether because they are hungry, promote the right causes, build the right products or are perceived as more deserving, it is by force that money is taken from someone. This is not a charitable act. It has nothing to do with the verse Shogan refers to.

Spending other people’s hard-earned money has little to do with Christian teachings of charity. However, ensuring our politicians improve their ability to be responsible stewards of taxpayers’ money is something we should all be very focused on at the moment.

David Minerath


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