Per USA Today:
Barber blasted lawmakers during a press conference at Hopkins AME Zion Church earlier in the day, despite the raises for teachers.
“Lawmakers in the General Assembly made things bad last year and they have simply made things worse this year,” he said earlier in the day.
He took aim at the deep tax cuts for the rich and corporations, saying it will mean $5 billion less in revenue for the state. Barber noted that the state constitution says caring for the poor is among the government’s first priorities.
“Now they are robbing Paul to try to pay Paul,” he said. “In fact they are even robbing Jesus. They seem to think the North Carolina public and cannot add, subtract or read.”
I’m not sure exactly what that comment about robbing Jesus even means, not that it would matter to the movement that such demagoguery actually make sense. The comment fits the familiar rhetorical formula, which is light on substance, just say “moral” and “Jesus” and rail against Republicans. Leftists love the outrage even as they profess to want God out of politics, and media won’t question it because they fear the predictable accusations that would result.
It’s fair to wonder if the “Jesus” in question is the political Jesus they say “wouldn’t care for” their opponents and the Jesus whose most noteworthy accomplishment was setting up free healthcare clinics (it would be self-defeating to ponder upon that accomplishment and realize it was done voluntarily, but on a one-day basis, and before the government had him killed).
There was also the usual talk about “caring for the poor,” which per the rhetorical formula is euphemism for growing government, the movement’s true alpha and omega.
With respect to the poor, the movement, among other things:
- remains strongly opposed to free enterprise, the most potent poverty-fighter in history.
- treats government poverty programs as the only acceptable way to fight poverty, despite their results being scandalously to the contrary over the decades.
- takes advantage of undereducated, low-wage workers by convincing them to walk off their jobs and protest for wages that would put them out of work (that is, if walking off the job hadn’t already made that a fait accompli) — even though learning how to hold a job and appreciate the dignity of work are important in and of themselves to escaping poverty.
- tries to force poor people to travel further and pay higher prices rather than do business at local, low-priced retailers, who it accuses of exploiting them by offering them groceries at affordable prices when other grocers can’t or won’t do it despite people in the community pleading for it.
- seeks to keep poor kids hostage to their only government-picked public-school option, even though they elsewhere criticize the morality of that option when the subject is something other than school choice.
- supports socking people with higher electricity rates — despite electricity being a basic household need that consumes up to one-third of the take-home pay of the poor — by calling particular sources of expensive, inefficient energy “moral” and demanding they continue to receive the expensive, job-destroying government support the sources’ own supporters say they can’t live without.