*Editor's note: Marc Leavy, CFP® is a regular contributor to Business Reform Magazine, the leading Christian business magazine with over 100,000 readers. Each issue of Business Reform features practical advice on operating successfully in business while glorifying God.
Tuesday the president gave his State of the Union speech, and it had enough "guns and butter" for everyone. President Bush is no Lyndon Johnson but he still struggled to promise domestic prosperity while preparing a land war overseas.
The Constitution says in Article II, Section III, "He (The president) shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Maybe it is just me, but it seems "necessary and expedient" is being stretched.
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The president rightly offered tax cuts to stimulate the economy – a good beginning overall that stands a chance of passing Congress. Before the president could talk about preemptive strikes on Iraq, he seemed to launch a preemptive strike on the Democrats by proposing his own array of social programs. His statement about slowing the growth of government down to meet the cost of living was welcome but absurd given that the government usually grows at twice the rate of inflation.
It is sobering and difficult to contemplate that the government is actually a reflection of the Church. The government has moved into social programs because the Church was negligent in its God-given role to care for the poor and needy. The government is involved in health care because the Church stopped supporting their hospitals. The government is involved in caring for the elderly because the Church is not funding its care facilities. The government is in debt because the people are in debt. The government supports the National Endowment for the Arts and some of its disgusting programs because the Church goes to see movies and rent videos that in no way reflect the life of our Lord. The government pays for education because the Church mistakenly thinks the function of education is to help someone get a good job. Scripture teaches the purpose of knowledge and wisdom is to know and fear God.
The State of the Union actually reflects the State of the Church as well, and unfortunately, we have the government we deserve.
"Captain Outrageous" will be happy to move to Florida and get the Braves back. After AOL Time Warner Inc., posted a 2002 loss of nearly $100 billion, the largest annual loss in U.S. corporate history, Ted Turner had had enough and resigned from the board of AOL. He has lost approximately 80 percent of his wealth by his own estimates due to the stock slide. The stock slide is also a blow to the U.N. because Mr. Turner made his billion-dollar pledge to the U.N. in Time Warner stock.
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"Terrible Ted" also switched his residency to Florida. He maintained residency in Georgia because of the presence of his companies, but he must have lost some of that loving feeling. Mr. Turner is a singular character in contemporary corporate history. He gave us colorized movies, 24-hour news, a comeback for the Atlanta Braves, the America’s Cup in sailing and he is the second largest landowner in the United States besides the U.S. government. He built a media empire and then had it "dot bombed." Who knows, maybe God is trying to get his attention.
Consumer confidence dropped this week but not as much as expected. The Fed did nothing and maintained its neutral bias regarding rates. There will be a spate of economic news this week, but little will make a difference until after the bombs stop dropping in Iraq.
Marc Leavy, CFP?, is president of Principled Investing Inc., a ministry that teaches we have been entrusted with our Resources for a Reason?. He speaks regularly on stewardship matters and may be reached at [email protected].