|Posted on January 1, 2013 at 1:15 PM|
By Gary Konecky
One of the ways to evaluate things is to compare how people respond in somewhat similar situations. With this thought in mind, let us compare the actions of Joseph (as Viceroy of ancient Egypt) during a famine where people were hungry and in need of food with those of our politicians in Washington,DC,during an economic downturn where people are hungry and in need of food.
Let us start with Joseph. The bible, in the Book of Genesis, tells us:
Now lets contrast Joseph's actions,actions that fed millions of hungry people, with those of actions of our politicians in recent years. The politicians in Washington deliberately repealed the laws and regulations designed to protect us against financial fraud. It appears they repealed those laws and regulations in exchange for bribes (better known as campaign contributions). As a result, we are now suffering thought the worst economic downturn the since The Great Depression of nearly a century ago. The Great Recession has dragged on for five long years and is still dragging on with no end in sight.
What has Washington's response been to The Great Recession? They have used taxpayer money to bailout the very crooks that caused The Great Recession; as if creating a worldwide financial disaster and impoverishing millions of people was a noble deed, a deed so noble as to merit trillions of taxpayer dollars as a reward. Did anyone arrest any of these crooks? No! It appears that when you pay large enough bribes (pay large enough campaign contributions), then you are not arrested for financial crimes, the very crimes that created The Great Recession.
The politicians in Washington also responded to The Great Recession by creating the so called Fiscal Cliff. In short, the politicians manufactured a crisis so that they could have an excuse to impoverish additional people by cutting the very benefits (Social Security being just one example) that those people paid for in taxes (year, after year, after year, their entire working lives), taxes that the government made a solemn vow to use to provide them with benefits when they needed them. And now, those politicians are trying to break that solemn vow by claiming that a politician created situation is somehow a dire national emergency and that they have no choice but to cut the very benefits they vowed to provide.
In this United States, people go to bed hungry. This is not the result of a famine as in the bible story of Joseph. This is the direct result of government policy, government policy bought and paid for with bribes (campaign contributions), government policy that has brought untold human suffering to millions of people.
Now lets take this point just one step further. Jews throughout the word read the first five books of the Hebrew bible in an annual cycle. Every week, they read a different torah portion as part of this cycle. While they were reading the torah portions that dealt with Joseph and his handling of the famine, the US House of Representatives held a vote on cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from Food Stamps (a program design to provide food to the hungry among us). Think about this, while Jews across the world were reading how Joseph was feeding people during a famine, the US House of Representatives was voting to take food from poor people so that they could preserve tax breaks for the richest among us; people so rich that they, their children, and their children's children, will never want for anything, let alone food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. People that are so rich they need these taxbreaks for the reason best stated by billionaire hotelier Leona Helmsley: "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes."
In conclusion: Are the policies of Washington what G-d wants for us (as illustrated by the story of Joseph), or are they an unpardonable sin of epic proportions?