cover image Fixing the Moral Deficit: A Balanced Way to Balance the Budget

Fixing the Moral Deficit: A Balanced Way to Balance the Budget

Ronald J. Sider. InterVarsity, $15 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-8308-3795-3

Basing his economics on biblical principles, Sider (Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger) lays out proposals for solving the fiscal problems confronting the U.S. He rejects both capitalist imperatives to maximize profit and socialist desires to level wealth. Instead, he charts a middle course that recognizes the severity of economic problems and yet emphasizes the biblical mandate to protect the poor and vulnerable. For Sider, the country suffers as much from a moral as a fiscal deficit. His ideas include shrinking the national debt, instituting a more progressive tax code, decreasing the influence of money on politics, and reducing the defense budget by at least $100 billion a year. Sider makes a strong argument that by following such a moderate course, the U.S. can slowly but surely climb out of its economic hole. In a political culture arguably gone awry, Sider’s succinct merger of religion and economics is well worth reading. If nothing else, Sider argues credibly and with clarity that by adopting a moral vision, the country can find an economic path that is both stable and humane. (Mar.)