After writing my last blog post on Overtaxing the Rich, I began thinking about what Jesus would do. So here it is…
In Luke 19:11-26 Jesus teaches His disciples about His kingdom in a parable. As you read the parable, it is not about taxation but more about investing in the kingdom. However, I think we can draw some similar principles. Here is the story:
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘
Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’
22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’
24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’
26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.
So, if we were to draw a parallel teaching from this text to a teaching on taxation…
What Would Jesus Say About Overtaxing the Rich? That is, what would He say about Joe Biden and most Democrats appeal to place most of the taxes on the rich?
1. First of all, if they are wise investors and not criminals, as many are, he would praise them more than those who have not invested wisely.
2. He would rebuke the unwise investors.
3. I’m not sure what He would say about the whole idea of taxation, but He would definitely not be in favor of taxing the rich (who are wise investors) more that anyone else. According to this parable, if He taxed anyone more, He would tax all those who are lazy, even if they are poor, and give it to those wise investors—even if they are rich, because they are wiser investors.
Jesus certainly would not tax the honest rich more than anyone else. He may even tax the poor and give that money to the honest rich to invest, in order to build the economy. Jesus would not at all be in favor of an income equality system. He would be more in favor of an equal opportunity system, and also a system where there would be freedom to make as much money as you want without being penalized for it. In fact, He would be in favor of a system where the high earner would be praised and even rewarded for his work and thriftiness. Also, I think he would shine a light on the high earner as being good examples for the low earner.