To the Poor and Needy

Published January 10, 2003, issue of January 10, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

There isn’t much that’s been left unsaid about President Bush’s new economic plan, a misbegotten mixture of giveaways to the rich and pittances to working families that barely addresses the economy’s pressing need for stimulus and jobs.

Last Tuesday, the day that the president unveiled his $674 billion plan in a speech in Chicago, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America announced that home foreclosures had reached an all-time high during the third quarter of 2002. Yet the president’s plan does little to help folks feeling squeezed by this economy; fully half the benefits would go to the top 1% of income earners — one-fourth, in fact, to those who make $1 million a year or more.

On that same Tuesday, the Commerce Department announced that factory orders had declined for the third quarter in a row, a sign that folks aren’t buying manufactured goods. Yet the president’s plan does little to put spending money in consumers’ hands; only about one-sixth of the plan is directed toward such stimulus.

But the president knows all this. He doesn’t need us to tell him what his plan does and doesn’t do.

What he does need is a reminder of why it matters. And nobody has said that better this week than Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Saperstein responded to the president’s speech with a quote from the president’s beloved Bible, commanding us (in Deuteronomy 15:7) to “open our hands to the poor and the needy among us.”

America is in need. The president’s plan doesn’t help.

Find us on Facebook!
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover!
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.