And actually on closer scrutiny, there seem to be two stories here. One, the Bible stuff which makes the Times. Two, from the Times story (I haven’t read the book), it appears the professor may have put together some useful data on the thorny and contentious subject of tax incidence—the issue of who pays how much of what, which is (surprise!) contentious enough without the moral dimension because it is so hard to pin down a straight answer. On the question of how well she deals with the facts, I am hardly in a position to say anything intelligent, but it’s certainly a topic that invites the attention of a serious mind.
On the “fairness” stuff, I assume she is being hammered right now by the anti-compassion lobby. Needless to say I have a momentary impulse to pile on in her defense. But actually, I’m not all that eager. Don’t misunderstand, I do think that taxes (and government in general) ream the poor without good justification. But on purely Biblical grounds? I think what we may have here is evidence, not so much of unfairness, but of the melancholy principle that the Bible can be used to prove almost anything. That’s the trouble with a rich religious tradition: precisely what makes it rich is the stuff that disqualifies itself from a role of dispositive relevance in serious debate.