The Herald Leader recently asked the question, "What budget cuts would Jesus propose?" (my paraphrase). Honestly, it seemed like a silly question to me, so I posted the following response. However, what I found astonishing was how many people contacted me or stopped me to talk about my response. People of all political persuasions, different backgrounds and varying financial situations all agreed with me, yet clearly, they also had a few things of their own to say. So, here is my answer and I hope that you will feel free to weigh in with your thoughts!
Jesus would never have offered an opinion on governmental budget cuts. Jesus' religious directives regarding stewardship and charity were all directed toward individuals, not governments or political entities. This point is illustrated in the Gospel of Mark when he deftly avoids a trap set for him by the Pharisees and the Herodians by responding to their question regarding paying taxes with the simple and direct response, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.”
I do think however that Jesus might have chosen to comment on the hypocrisy of those who like to be generous (and take credit for it) with other people's money.