Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference Inc, representing thousands of African American congregations across this nation, declare that the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act a travesty of justice and mercy. It has been dishonestly presented to the American people, so many of whom are living paycheck to paycheck. Americans have been led to believe that their taxes will substantially decrease, but reports indicate otherwise. The taxes of most Americans will increase over time, and America’s underclass will grow larger and the gap between rich and poor widen even further.
This bill will inflict multilayered suffering upon many Americans. It will necessitate the cutting of funds from programs that help America’s struggling masses: Black and Brown people, women, children, the elderly and the disabled. The bill will also result in an additional 13 million people losing health care.
While corporations and the very wealthy will enjoy permanent tax cuts, the middle class and poor will experience a further downward spiral into the welfare state, deprived of opportunities for equitable and just participation in the economy. The safety net from charitable giving has also been undercut by this act. It is projected that the disincentives for small donor, local and community giving will result in a $4.9 billion decrease.
Quality of life is not, or should not be, a partisan issue; the lives and needs of American citizens are not liberal or conservative, but are, rather, human. This tax “reform” act sets in motion a series of legislative actions that will further rob people – some who are already poor and some close to abject poverty – of the capacity to earn a decent living in this nation.
Historically, the country’s wealth has been created by the very people who stand to suffer most from this tax “reform” act. The process and passage of this legislation bears the mark of this history. It too has been accomplished out of a spirit of unGodly callousness and greed. There is something deeply wrong with this narrative which points to the very soul of America. For moments such as this, The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference reminds all Americans of the wisdom of Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr.:
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Rev. Dr. Iva E. Carruthers is the general secretary for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference Inc.