What To Do with Economic Stimulus Checks

Recently, a debate has broken about whether Christians should use their forthcoming “economic stimulus checks” for missions rather than spending it on consumer goods. What are our obligations given that the rationale for sending out the checks in the first place is so that more money might be pumped into the economy? The discussion started with a short essay by John Piper, but others have been weighing in on the question.

Last week, Tim Chailles interviewed David Kotter about this issue. Kotter currently serves as the executive director of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Previously, Kotter taught business courses at Trinity International University, worked as a finance manager for Ford Motor Company, and contributed to Wayne Grudem’s book Business for the Glory of God. Besides that, Kotter has a keen eye for economic theory in light of the ethical demands of scripture. The interview is outstanding, but one item caught my eye that I want to pass on to you.

“As Christian voters, we should not be fooled by fiscal maneuvers that take money from one group of people and give it to another in the name of boosting the overall economy. The economy only grows if more goods and services are produced, not when money is transferred from one person to another.”

Read the rest here: Thinking Christianly About Economic Stimulus Payments.

12 Responses to What To Do with Economic Stimulus Checks

  1. Jim Peet May 5, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    I read Piper’s essay last week. Here are some realities:
    * Some actually will get little or no check (high income wage earners). I know some of these people. These also pay very high taxes by the way!
    * There should be no “church directed” mandate as to the requirement to give this to missions or to the church. It comes across as very self-serving and uses guilt to try to convince people to give more.
    * I work with young adults (18-30) in our church. I’ve chatted informally with many of them. What I’ve heard: buy a bed when I move into new apartment, paying tuition, car repairs, pay off cc debt, help pay for exploratory trip to the mission field, pay for next semester’s tuition.
    * All of the above reasons are just as God-glorifying as giving more to the church (if done led by the Spirit).
    * How one spends, saves, or gives whatever rebate check one may or may not receive is as really between a believer and his Lord!

  2. Mark Gibson May 5, 2008 at 10:14 am #

    Kotter got it exactly right:

    “While not explicitly stated, this law also seems to be designed to give a boost to presidential and congressional approval ratings. When economic storm clouds are on the horizon in an election year, it is helpful for politicians to be able to point to something that they have done to help. Few things improve the mood of voters like receiving an check in the mail.”

    Since they have all basically admitted that tax cuts boost the economy, why don’t they just extend the Bush tax cuts or cut the tax rates again? Congress is a joke.

  3. Nuwanda May 5, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    Vote libertarian.

  4. Mark Gibson May 5, 2008 at 10:54 am #

    I’m not a pot smoker. 🙂

  5. Michael Metts May 5, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    When does my check come??? Denny, can I have yours??? Do Libertarians smoke pot???

  6. Nuwanda May 5, 2008 at 11:37 am #

    Being libertarian is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for being a pot smoker. Democrats smoke pot too…they just don’t inhale. Republicans get high on whiskey and war.

  7. Darius May 5, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    I would vote libertarian, but I like taking showers too much.

  8. Nuwanda May 5, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    You said you were voting for Ventura for President!

    From the Southern Baptist Geneva

    Robert I Masters

  9. Robert masters May 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm #

    Sorry that should have been directed to Nuwanda from
    Robert Masters

  10. Nuwanda May 5, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    …or Bob Barr, Mike Gravel,Wayne Root, or any number of other libertarians running for president. It will be decided at the May convention, which was originally scheduled for April 20th but everyone either forgot or was busy.

  11. Mark Gibson May 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    Gravel is still running for president?

  12. Paul May 7, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    “Being libertarian is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for being a pot smoker. Democrats smoke pot too…they just don’t inhale. Republicans get high on whiskey and war.”

    All true, but all of the people that I know that smoke enough pot to be confused with a smokestack are all republicans. 😀

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