Congressman Ryan during your campaign you expressed your grave concern about the direction our nation is headed because of the lack of values – “It’s a dangerous path, it’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty, and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.”
I am so glad to hear your alarm. How about embracing a Judeo-Christian practice – the “Jubilee.” Earlier this year, and again recently, I heard Dr. Jeremy Taylor talk about Dream Recall, the Evolution of Consciousness and the real socioeconomic legislation of the Jubilee that Jesus was preaching. It sure opened my eyes Congressman Ryan, I know you would want to know more about it.
- Jubilee and Jesus: (from Generous Giving): “Imagine trumpets blasting throughout the land to proclaim liberty for the poor—orders are issued canceling all debts and returning lost property. Would it be anything short of an economic marvel? Scheduled every 50 years in ancient Israel, the Year of Jubilee was without a doubt the most untrammeled expression of God’s concern for the poor contained in the Mosaic Law. Jubilee was a comprehensive program of debt cancellation, liberation from indentured servitude and the complete restoration of each family’s ancestral property (Leviticus 25:8-54). Regardless of how deeply entrenched the poor had become or how much of their property the rich had accumulated, the Year of Jubilee was intended to bring economic transformation. This, Jesus said, is why he came. Yet this mission did not come out of the blue. The backdrop for the good news that Jesus preached to the poor was the socioeconomic legislation of Jubilee— “the year of the Lord’s favor.” Of course, when Jesus came, he brought added significance and new spiritual meaning to the Year of Jubilee.
- Before the Old Testament, “In the second millennium BCE, the Kings of Babylon occasionally issued decrees for the cancellation of debts and/or the return of the people to the lands they had sold. Such “clean slate” decrees were intended to redress the tendency of debtors, in ancient societies, to become hopelessly in debt to their creditors, thus accumulating most of the arable land into the control of a wealthy few.” (thanks Wikipedia)
- Columbia Encyclopedia: Jubilee in the Bible, a year when alienated property and land were restored, slaves were manumitted, debts were forgiven, and a general sabbatical year was observed in agriculture. It occurred once every 50 years, at the end of a series of seven sabbatical years as prescribed by the Book of Leviticus. In the Roman Catholic Church, the name is applied to a holy year when special privileges are given for the pilgrimage to Rome. The first holy year was celebrated in 1300. The pope proclaimed (1343) that holy years would recur at 50-year intervals; in 1470, the interval was reduced to 25 years.
- “What Does the Church Say About Debt and Jubilee” – from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “Religious teaching on debt reaches back to the old testament and the ancient tradition of the jubilee. This is a rich tradition that has much to teach us today, and is most fully explained in the Book of Leviticus (25: 1-55). There we learn that the jubilee was a time to let the land rest and allow whatever it naturally produced to be shared by all, landowner and slave alike. It was a time to set slaves free and to return to its original owner any land that had been sold. The jubilee was also a time to cancel debts. “At the end of every seven-year period you shall have a relaxation of debts” (Deuteronomy 15:1-2).”
- “Debt justice” is not limited to Christianity and Judaism: the Qur’an condemns usury and requires zakah (alms-giving) as an essential duty to prevent wealth being accumulated only among the rich. Dharmic faiths from the Indian sub-continent teach similar principles, teaching that wealth is held not for oneself but on behalf of all human beings.
Unjust debt goes to the heart of inequity in all religious and spiritual traditions. All of our bail outs and wealth fare have benefited the very wealthy. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”– Bernie Sanders (I-VT) . Here in the United States we have two severe financial meltdowns, one in 2000, and another in 2008. That money did not evaporate, it was re-distributed. The same thing has happened in Europe and the rest of the world since we are now a “global economy”. Where did the money go?
Congressman Ryan, you voted for the big bank bailout, where the banks got over $7.7 TRILLION in loans. The Fed didn’t mention that banks were in trouble so deep they required $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Banks all over the world reaped an estimated $16 Trillion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates according to the first audit of the privately owned and foreign-owned Federal Reserve by the GAO. Bloomberg Markets filed a FOIA request to audit the Fed in July, 2011, thus we were allowed to see who benefited from the Fed’s generosity.
So, Congressman Ryan, what do you think? A jubilee, or maybe Shelia Blair’s suggestion for restoring income equity in our country? During your Vice-presidential campaign I heard you mention your christian values constantly and how important they are for you. Actions speak louder than words. We’d love some help from you.
Sheila Blair, the former head of the FDIC, had a great idea: “Fix income inequity with $10 Million loans”:
“Under my plan, each American household could borrow $10 million from the Fed at zero interest. The more conservative among us can take that money and buy 10-year Treasury bonds. At the current 2 percent annual interest rate, we can pocket a nice $200,000 a year to live on. The more adventuresome can buy 10-year Greek debt at 21 percent, for an annual income of $2.1 million. Or if Greece is a little too risky for you, go with Portugal, at about 12 percent, or $1.2 million dollars a year. (No sense in getting greedy.)
Think of what we can do with all that money. We can pay off our underwater mortgages and replenish our retirement accounts without spending one day schlepping into the office. With a few quick keystrokes, we’ll be golden for the next 10 years. And while that deal blew bigger holes in the deficit, my proposal won’t cost taxpayers anything because the Fed is just going to print the money. All we need is about $1,200 trillion, or $10 million for 120 million households. We will all cross our hearts and promise to pay the money back in full after 10 years so the Fed won’t lose any dough. It can hold our Portuguese debt as collateral just to make sure.
Of course, we will have to persuade Congress to pass a law authorizing all this Fed lending, but that shouldn’t be hard. Congress is really good at spending money, so long as lawmakers don’t have to come up with a way to pay for it. Just look at the way the Democrats agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts if the Republicans agreed to cut Social Security taxes and extend unemployment benefits. Who says bipartisanship is dead?”
It might even be penance for the Kodak moment posing while washing clean pans.