Thanks to the good folks over at PICO National Network for calling out House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan on his federal budget. He likes to say it’s rooted in Catholic Social Teaching — but it’s not. Here’s PICO’s take on the topic:
If it became law, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s federal budget would decimate food stamps, Head Start, higher education assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, job training and other programs that help vulnerable working families make it through tough times and live better lives. It would push more Americans into poverty, while dramatically cutting taxes for the richest people in the country.
“It’s the height of hypocrisy for Rep. Ryan to claim that his approach to the budget is shaped by Catholic teaching and values,” said Fr. John Baumann, S.J., founder of PICO National Network. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been clear about where they stand on protecting the poor in the federal budget.
The Catholic Church not only sponsors a vast array of anti-poverty programs and initiatives, but has been at the forefront of lobbying Congress to reject the radical proposals to cut social programs for the vulnerable while reducing taxes on the wealthy. During last year’s budget debate, the Bishops, along with leading Evangelical and Mainline Protestant religious leaders said in their Circle of Protection statement1 that any effort to reduce the deficit must not increase poverty or inequality. The Bishops reiterated that clear standard of assessing budget proposals based on whether they promote the common good and protect “the least of these” (Matthew 25) in their March 6, 2012 letter to Congress:
“A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects “the least of these” (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first.” ….