Taking from the Poor and Disabled…

Missouri state legislators are dishonoring our disabled veterans, dishonoring our elderly and civilian disabled, purposely ignoring the GOP’s own vision of lower taxes and smaller government, and purposely disregarding scripture they hold so dear.

SB 350, which has passed the state senate and House Budget Committee, would take money out of our state’s low income seniors’, veterans’, and disabled’s pockets, and would create a new government agency which would redistribute the moneys to… Balancing the budget? Really?

Senate President Pro Tem, Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles), proposed legislation which would, as expounded in its summary, “[eliminate] the renter’s portion of the Senior Citizens Property Tax Credit and creates the Missouri Senior Services Protection Fund.”

This bill promises to increase the size of government, taking hard earned, retirement and Social Security moneys from our citizens, giving it to support more government and oversight.

Isn’t this what the GOP blames the Democrats of doing?

The bill would effectively take away the $750 state income tax credit for approximate 104,000 low-income seniors and disabled Missourians, including veterans, living in rental housing. The estimated “$57 million” savings would be directed to the proposed “Missouri Senior Services Protection Fund.”

However, the Missouri Digital News reported, “Republicans say the state needs the money for balancing the budget,” not for a Senior Service Protection Fund. So which is it, senior protection or a balanced budget? 

I ask you, does this sound fair and proper to you?

(A sidebar question; my calculations show $78 million (104,000 x $750), so where would the addition $21 million end up? More tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations?)

For my conservative readers; are you willing to take money out of the hands of the taxpayer and put it in the pocket of the government? This is wholly contrary to the values of the conservative movement.  This bill says, “Hey low income seniors, and disabled veterans and citizens, we’re taking $750 out of your pocket, money you could use to buy medication and food, and pay for the roof over your head, and keeping it for ourselves.” I can hear the sounds of a good old fashioned Bronx cheer following.                                                                                                                                              

For my secular readers, those who are of faith, humanists, and a-theists, are you willing to allow our legislatures take money from your fathers, mothers, grandparents, the disabled and veterans who have sacrificed for our freedoms, to be put in a new government fund for some unknown use?

For my religious-right and religious-left readers, are you willing to ignore scriptures’ commands to care for the elderly and those in need? Leviticus 19:32 tells us, “You shall rise before a venerable person and you shall respect the elderly…” (Torah)

1 Timothy 5:1-2 warns the faithful, “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, (2) older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” (NIV)

In Islam, it is said that the Prophet told the Faithful, “Any young person who is kind to an elderly because of his age, Allah will send him someone who will be kind to him when he becomes old.” 

Sen. Schaefer, you voted and 20 colleagues voted “Yea” on SB 350, despite mid-Missouri’s growing retirement, veteran and disabled communities. Are you and your colleagues that willing to abandon personal, societal, secular and religious morals to satisfy one’s political ambitions and capital?

Are the rumors true Mr. Schaefer that you are establishing your tea party super-conservative credentials before running for a statewide office?

This bill is now in the hands of the House Rules Committee.  Are you brave enough to stop SB 350 cold?  Paraphrasing attorney Robert Maxwell, “Someone must step forward. If not us, who will extend, defend, and protect Missouri’s seniors, low income and veterans?”

That person is you. It is “us.”

I implore you, write or call the committee’s chair, Rep. Jeanie Riddle (R-Fulton), vice-chair Rep. Caleb Jones (R-California) and the other members of the House Budget Committee. Tell our state legislators to stop taking money out of the pockets of Missouri taxpayers, stop increasing the size of government, and stop lining the pockets of the state coffers with these immoral actions. 


David is an award winning author, editor and keynote speaker. His book, “A Christian Nation?” is available on Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble. 

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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