The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc, (SDPC) representing thousands of African American congregations across this nation, declare that the passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act“ a travesty of justice and mercy. It has been dishonestly presented to the American people, so many of whom are living paycheck to paycheck. Americans have been led to believe that their taxes will substantially decrease, but reports indicate otherwise. The taxes of most Americans will increase over time and America’s underclass will grow larger and the gap between rich and poor widen even further.

This bill will inflict multilayered suffering upon many Americans. It will necessitate the cutting of funds from programs which help America’s struggling masses: black and brown people, women, children, the elderly, and the disabled. The bill will also result in an additional 13 million people losing health care.

While corporations and the very wealthy will enjoy permanent tax cuts, the middle class and poor will experience a further downward spiral into the welfare state, deprived of opportunities for equitable and just participation in the economy. The safety net from charitable giving has also been undercut by this act. It is projected that the disincentives for small donor, local and community giving will result in a $4.9 billion decrease.

Quality of life is not, or should not be, a partisan issue; the lives and needs of American citizens are not Liberal or Conservative, but are, rather, human. This tax “reform” act sets in motion a series of legislative actions that will further rob people – some who are already poor and some close to abject poverty – of the capacity to earn a decent living in this nation.

Historically, the country’s wealth has been created by the very people who stand to suffer most from this tax “reform” act. The process and passage of this legislation bears the mark of this history. It too has been accomplished out of a spirit of unGodly callousness and greed. There is something deeply wrong with this narrative which points to the very soul of America. For moments such as this, The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference reminds all Americans of the wisdom of Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES include  REV. TRACI BLACKMON, Christ the King United Church of Christ, St. Louis, MO;  REV. DR. VALERIE BRIDGEMAN, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Delaware, Ohio;  REV. MARTIN L. ESPINOSA, Ray of Hope Community Church, Nashville, TN;  REV. DR. JAMES A. FORBES, JR., Healing of the Nations Foundation, New York, NY;  HON. REV. WENDELL L. GRIFFEN, New Millennium Church, Little Rock, AR;  REV. DR. FORREST E. HARRIS, SR., American Baptist College, Nashville, TN;  REV. DR. FREDERICK D. HAYNES, III,  CHAIR, SDPC, INC., Friendship-West Baptist Church, Dallas, TX; BISHOP GREGORY G. M. INGRAM, Presiding Prelate 1st Dist. AME Church, Philadelphia, PA;  TYRA A. MARIANI, CO-CHAIR, SDPC, INC., Washington, DC ;  REV. DR. EARL B. MASON, SR., Bible-Based Fellowship Church of Temple Terrace, Tampa, FL ; REV. DR. MICHAEL PFLEGER, Community of Saint Sabina Church, Chicago, IL;  REV. DR. JOE S. RATLIFF, Brentwood Baptist Church, Houston, TX ; REV. Dr. MARCUS SMALL, New Calvary Baptist Church, Norfolk, VA; REV. DR. GINA M. STEWART, Christ Missionary Baptist Church, Memphis, TN; REV. ANTHONY L. TRUFANT, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY;  ROBIN P. WILLIAMS, United Food & Commercial Workers, Washington, DC; REV. STARSKY D.WILSON, Saint John’s Church, St. Louis, MO;  REV. DR. JEREMIAH A. WRIGHT, JR., Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL.; DR. IVA E. CARRUTHERS, General Secretary.

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