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AARP riles progressive Evangelical group

February 15, 2013

by Institute on Religion and Democracy

Warning of “generational injustice” and an unsustainable federal budget deficit, Evangelicals for Social Action President Ron Sider has resigned his membership in the AARP over its opposition to changes in Social Security and Medicare.

In a recent Huffington Post article, Sider, a longtime influential figure in the Evangelical Left, notes that the federal government spends about $4 on every senior over 65 and only $1 on every child under 18.

Throughout his column, Sider defends so-called entitlement programs as essential to vulnerable populations. But concessions are needed to keep the programs from spiraling out of control, Sider argues.

“If we continue current patterns, by 2025 all federal income will be needed simply to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid (health care for poor Americans) and interest on the national debt!” Sider wrote.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

“Sider’s candor about the trajectory of the U.S. federal budget is a rare expression of understanding from a figure on the Evangelical Left that tax increases and defense cuts alone cannot control the budget deficit.

“Sider joins many other people of faith in concern that burdening future generations with endless massive debt is unfair and immoral. Sider’s boldness in speaking out on behalf of future Americans is very commendable.”

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