Saturday, February 19, 2005

Clergy Call For New Taxes

A Democratic state senator and four of the state's top religious leaders said Thursday that the Legislature should ignore Gov. Tim Pawlenty's oft-stated "no new taxes" pledge and increase state income tax rates. They said the governor's blanket refusal to consider new taxes ignores thousands of poor and vulnerable state residents who will suffer from Pawlenty's proposal to slow down funding for some health care programs. "We believe it is just and proper to raise income taxes justly and equitable based on every individual's ability to pay," said Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. "Minnesotans have always shown great love and compassion for their brothers and sisters in need." Flynn was joined by Bishop Peter Rogness of the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Rabbi Aaron Brusso of Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka; and Imam Hamdy El-Sawaf of the Islamic Center of Minnesota. While none in the group said they were questioning Pawlenty's own morals, they were unequivocal in their condemnation of his refusal to consider tax increases.
O.K. If religious leaders are now political activists, I belive we should grant their wish.