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Letter to the editor: President’s speech the opposite of Thomas’ claims

In a Dec. 14 column in The Sun, Cal Thomas takes issue with President Barack Obama over a Dec. 4 speech about income inequality. He accuses the president of proposing that those who are financially successful should be forced to share with those who are unsuccessful. He compares the president to Karl Marx, who said, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” I looked up the speech and it is the opposite of what Thomas says.

The president said not one negative word about success. Rather, he talked about making opportunity available to everyone. He pointed out that in the last three decades, productivity in our country has increased 90 percent but the typical family’s income has increased only 8 percent. A child born to a family in the lower 20 percent of income has a 95 percent probability of remaining there for life. New wealth has increasingly gone to those already wealthy and less to those who do the real work. I have seen the statistics. Since about 1980, inequality of income and wealth in this country has grown to obscene proportions.

The president talked not about equalizing wealth, but about making educational opportunities available to all and to making it possible for those who are willing to educate themselves and do the work to realize the rewards of their efforts.

Thomas must be aware that Pope Francis has already expressed many of the same ideas as Obama. Also, as a professed Christian, Thomas must have read in the New Testament Book of Acts about the early Christians’ lifestyle in the first century AD. Very interestingly, Acts 2: 44-45 reads, “All who believed were together and held all things in common, and would sell their possessions and goods and distribute them among all according as anyone had need.” Acts 4: 34-37 goes on to say, “Nor was there anyone among them in want. For those who owned lands or houses would sell them and bring the price of what they sold and lay it at the feet of the apostles, and distribution was made to each, according as anyone had need.” I wonder if Karl Marx ever read the Bible?

I must admit that I am not willing to sell my house and my land and give the money away. So I am very glad that neither the pope nor the president went that far.