Rangel: What would Jesus do on the debt talks?
July 8th, 2011
05:08 PM ET
7 years ago

Rangel: What would Jesus do on the debt talks?

Washington (CNN) - Veteran Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel made an impassioned plea to religious leaders Friday, calling on them to lobby members of Congress and the Obama administration to remember the "lesser of my brothers and sisters" during this weekend's debt negotiations.

"What would Jesus do this weekend? Or Moses. Or Allah. Or anyone else," the New York congressman said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. "I don't want this book (debt negotiations) closed without the clergy having an opportunity to forcefully express themselves as well as I know they can do."

Top congressional leaders and the White House have been steeped in contentious negotiations over raising the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.Treasury Department officials, along with top economists, warn that a failure to raise the limit by August 2 could lead to a global economic crisis and dire consequences for the U.S., including skyrocketing interest rates and a falling dollar.

Rangel said he was stumped as to why Washington wouldn't be "besieged by spiritual leaders saying 'do what you have to do - but not to the homeless, the jobless and the helpless. Not to the sick. And certainly not to the aging that are sick or those depending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.'"

"I have not heard from those people who have been called by God to protect the poor. I haven't heard them," he said. "The issues that are going to be discussed this weekend involve spiritual, moral issues."

And Rangel's plea to the poor and helpless? Call your religious leaders and ask, "what is Medicare all about? What is Medicaid all about? Why do
we have taxes?'"

Filed under: Charlie Rangel • Debt
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "The moral thing to do is to not burden future generations of Americans with debt that they will work their lives to try and pay off."


    July 8, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Bill

    Rangel is a slug.

    July 8, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. Mike

    Oh so no Charlie is for the integration of church and state?

    July 8, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. AW

    I'm guessing that Jesus wouldn't have illegally taken four rent-controlled apartments from the "lesser of [his] brothers and sisters". Shut up Charlie; you're just as bad as the slimy Republicans who can talk the talk but not walk the walk.

    July 8, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  5. astro24102

    Charlie Rangel......saying "what would Jesus do" is the so IRONIC. He should have thought about that versus committing so many crimes himself. I can't believe he is still in office.

    July 8, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Andrew

    Rangel may be a rascal but he's got a Good question. Well? Where are the "God Like" and the "All-knowing-always-right"?

    The Political Christians and the Political Muslims and the Political Jews aren't comfortable doing what Jesus did; helping the poor and skewering the ones who don't as cowards and 'lukewarm pretending hypocrits'.

    This isn't about being kind Charlie: this is about money and politics and more money and politics! This is about the greedy who would see the poor and hungry die like dogs!

    I kinow what Jesus would do if he were here! He'd cast the uncaring lot of them straight into hell! Someday he'll do just that!

    July 8, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    I just keep remembering that eye in the needle ...............

    July 8, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. Eh??

    Jesus would pee on Rangel - in private, of course - but THAT's where it REALLY matters!

    July 8, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. Rayneee

    I love how Democrats think we need to cut spending, but say that 99% of spending is off limits.

    July 8, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. John/kc

    Jesus said: "A rich man has as much chance of going to heaven as a camel passing thru the eye of a needle". So let's be sure that the rich man gets away with no tax increases here on earth while the country goes into default, because their greed will be rewarded after death.

    July 8, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Billy

    Jesus told us the Poor we would always have and we have a personal responsibility to feed the poor. Not a tax payer funded way of life for anyone who doesn't want to work for the man. After Jesus also said 'If a man will not work, he will not eat."

    July 8, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. kyle

    He would not take from the poor and give to the rich!!!!!!!!!

    July 8, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Grant

    Jesus wouldn't get busted for tax evasion, like Mr. Rangel. Maybe we should all be like this guy and see how that affects the budget...

    July 8, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. JB

    Wow – a crook & lifelong politician on the gov't dole – soliciting devine guidance for his personal program preferences ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    Miserable low-life – – – – –

    July 8, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Peggy - TX

    Veteran Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel lacks moral authority, but then again he is not trying to speak for GOD, he is not telling us what to believe and he is not trying to judge his fellow man. He is simply asking people to look into themselves and ask what would God want of me right now and for his question is beyond reproach.

    Jesus said that a wealthy man can get into heaven, but it would be like putting a rope through a needle. I interpret that to mean, one strand at a time and lot of work and effort. Why would this be that Jesus would differentiate between the poor and the wealthy when it comes to determine getting into heaven. Maybe because one of the seven deadly sins is gluttony. Maybe because by grabbing all the wealth and the resources of the land provided by GOD into oneself while watching others starve makes the greedy one an accomplice in creating the situation to where others are starving.

    Raise taxes on the very wealthy and keep the social safety nets in place.

    We do not have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem!!!!

    July 8, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    Asking that question is irrelevant since the Day of Judgement is coming October 21, 2011, according to Family Radio's Harold Camping.

    July 8, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Mike kern

    Republicans politicians only believe on Jesus when it's tithing time.

    July 8, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. JB

    @ Four and the door! With all respects why did you go to school? And if and only if! Which economics books did you read? May be the ones authored by necks?

    July 8, 2011 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  19. they call me "tater salad"

    @ Four and the door: If you actually had a clue then I wouldn't have to tell you that the beloved " Ryan Plan" you halfwits seem to love so much will actually add 5 TRILLION DOLLARS TO OUR DEPT IN 10 YEARS!! Maybe you should just STFU until you know a little something about something.......... Or, maybe get off your lazy ass and look into these things and find out for yourself in stead of being just another Faux Noise Channel drone............Typical armchair expert..............NEXT!

    July 8, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. noooooo

    no man knows

    July 8, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. terry,va

    Rangel, why don't you go ask him if St Pete will let you in?

    July 8, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Oscar

    Jesus said, "Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's; give to God what is God's."

    July 8, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  23. w l jones

    Just think how many young men or women could feed there family if some of these on the job to long people retired. We need new ideal which mean young blood with energy to burn for we the people of America. Bless.

    July 8, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. A Kickin` Donkey

    Someone above said we don`t need to keep raising the debt limit.

    Yes, we do. Unless we can immediately begin to pay down the NATIONAL DEBT.

    We borrow 32 cents of every dollar we spend. So if we could cut spending by a THIRD overnight – which is never gonna happen – the best we could do is balance the budget.

    This still leave a growing interest burden which would grow the debt limit.

    Perhaps now some of you "No additional revenue" people get it. You don`t pay off our debt unless we repeal the Bush tax cuts and close tax loopholes.

    July 8, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. they call me "tater salad"

    Jesus would have avoided his taxes and enjoyed every penny of his " Tax Exempt " status ( and still would have fully expected to have a say in what goes on in this country and peoples daily lives) just like ALL religious zealots/ churches do.........Don't kid yourself!

    July 8, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
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