Pelosi: Benedict and St. Augustine support death tax

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave a speech on the floor of the House yesterday in opposition to the repeal of the death tax, i.e. a government grab of half of everything your parents worked hard to earn because of the simple fact that they have died. It is in fact a double tax since, the deceased already paid taxes on their income the first time around. It is a tax on capital and savings, a penalty on those who have worked hard and saved and built a business or estate to hand on to their children.

In any case, in her appeal to claim that the cut in the death tax benefits only the super-wealthy (it does not; just ask the people who have inherited family farms and family businesses, ask anyone whose parents had a medium-priced home and a decent-sized IRA), she cited none other than Pope Benedict and his encyclical Deus Caritas Est. Yes, she did.

Pope Benedict just recently put out his new encyclical, “God is Love.” And in his encyclical, he quoted Saint Augustine when he wrote, this is in the Pope’s encyclical. You can find it there. He talked about the role that politicians have and that a government should be just, and we should be promoting justice. And he goes on, Pope Benedict does, to quote Saint Augustine. He says: “A state that is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves.” This is the Pope saying this in an encyclical, quoting a saint. “A state which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves.”

I ask this Congress, is it justice to steal from the middle class to give tax cuts to the ultra-superrich?

It is not just. And it is an injustice we cannot afford. Americans can no longer afford President Bush and the Republicans. It is time for a new direction. We can begin by rejecting this estate tax giveaway to the wealthy and insist on a vote to increase the minimum wage. That would be a real values judgment.

This is called pandering to an audience. Pelosi apparently believes that by citing Pope Benedict quoting St. Augustine on the need for government to be just, that she’s showing everyone what a good Catholic she is.

The Deus caritas est prescription for justice and charity

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