It's a well-known story even by those who never went to Sunday school. Shortly before Jesus' crucifixion, a woman anointed his feet with expensive perfume. Judas Iscariot was enraged. "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" he asked. A denarius was a day's wage back then, so, not counting weekends (Sabbath Day off), the woman had apparently poured a year's salary on one man's feet.
At first glance, you have to think that old Judas was a humanitarian at heart, a philanthropist who wanted to see social justice. Isn't it nice that he was concerned, first and foremost, about all those poor people? However, John, who had spent three years observing Judas, comments immediately afterward, "This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box, and he used to take what was put in it." These verses, by the way, are taken from John 12:3-6 in the New King James Version of the Bible, but I suppose they read similarly in any translation you might have at hand.
So, why do I bring up a Bible lesson in my political forum? Because I have seen this same activity in the political workings of congress. For nearly a century, liberal politicians have hidden behind the "poor." Every time a conservative opposes a socialist policy or an excessive spending bill, we are reminded of how this person is "hurting the poor."
This past week, that has been the main outcry against those who oppose the gigantic, irreversible, debilitating Socialized Medicine bill that will be the magnum opus of this liberal-dominated congress before a large percentage of them are ousted in 2010. In spite of the fact that every poll, every survey, shows a majority of Americans are against this crime against our policies, our morals, and our pocketbooks, these elected "representatives" are bound and determined to push it through before Christmas.
Some have unashamedly given the reason for the rush. They know that the public does not want this bill, and are afraid that some of their cohorts might be influenced by the people who voted for them when they go home for the Christmas break.
And what do they say of these people? That we are "against the poor." This medical bill is to "help the poor." It's an easy tag to put on any liberal legislation, on any spending bill, on any dip into a private citizen's pocket book or bank account, any claim against your or my hard-earned money: "It's for the poor!"
Why do I want to compare liberal politics with Judas? Well, for several reasons. Like Judas, they control the "money box." Have you ever seen what they do to money when they get it? Do you know how much money is "on deposit" in your social security funds? The same amount there has always been: nothing. If Social Security were a private finance company, the SEC would have shut them down years ago, and those in charge would be in prison. But every time you hear of an attempt to privatize it or reform it, you hear the liberal chant: "They want to take money out of our Social Security funds! They want to starve the poor!" This is said with one hand raised in the air; the other is firmly ensconced in the money bag, looking for any coin that happens to fall in.
I think there is no difference between them and Judas: they are thieves, and take whatever is put in the money box. Do you think it's too harsh for me to call them thieves? What would your boss call you if you took money out of petty cash and used it to buy a DVD player? What would your family think if you took butter and egg money and bought lottery tickets? What would the guys at the office think if you took the football pool money and used it to buy tickets for yourself to the Super Bowl? I think "thief" would be mild. But that's exactly what your elected officials do every day.
This medical bill is being enacted, allegedly, with your consent. No one but Harry Reid and a select few have even been allowed to look at the Senate version of it. But it is filled with pork, including billions for "moderate" Democrats to use in their own states in exchange for a "yes" vote. Recently I wrote of Democrats with a spine who brightened up the Senate chamber. One by one, they have all been bought off, even the non-democrat Leiberman.
It's not that these "moderates" were not corrupt. Just like some members of the "oldest profession," their price was just a little higher than normal.
Some people might call them "Judases" because they have betrayed those who sent them to Washington, those who have supported them, and our own constitution. But I call them Judases because they bear a striking resemblance to the prototype: harping about the "poor" when all they are really thinking about is how to get their hands on more money.
If you really think that this gigantic, pork-laden, "Jabba-the-Hutt" medical bill is going to guarantee you good insurance, lower medical bills, better care, and liberty and justice for all, I will leave you to your naivete. You probably also think that Amtrak is making money, that the US Postal service is financially sound, that the IRS raises money for the maintenance of government operations, and that there is a million dollars in the vaults of the Social Security Administration with your name on it, just waiting until you turn 65.
Look what a great job government has done for the "poor" in the past 50 years. From Johnson's "war on poverty" up to these programs today. The only thing I can see that they have done for the poor is to make a lot more of them. The percentage of poor people in America has risen steadily since the government got involved in "helping" them. Every year, the number of poor is higher, and the threshold of poverty is higher.
Well, until this year. The liberal leadership is now recommending that we re-adjust the figures and raise those threshold numbers. The results will be, of course, that "poverty" will go down, according to the figures, in the next year. But that won't feed anyone or find them a job.
This medical bill has the possibility of putting even a greater number of Americans into a poverty situation. There will be higher taxes, increased medical costs, and the exciting new experience of jail time if you do not purchase insurance. Medicare and Medicaid are already miserable failures, but we have only seen the beginning. Now they will be disasters as their coffers of red ink are raided to finance new medical programs.
I think maybe somewhere, in the back of his twisted mind, Judas Iscariot may have still had a conscience. He may have actually thought that the poor needed help. I do not see even the standards of Judas being met by our current elected leadership. They have one goal, and that is to get their fingers into more of the gross domestic product, and take a little more of what you and I have earned this year to fund pet projects, and at the same time, to make us all a little more dependent on government to keep us alive. I cannot help but think of the hapless Winston Smith in Orwell's classic, 1984. It was this book that introduced us to "Big Brother." It's what your government wants to be to you. After all he had been through -- torture, threats, and brain washing -- Winston Smith finally came to the point that your elected official wants to be. The last line of the story says, "He loved Big Brother."