Catholic bishops say GOP budget proposal fails moral test

David Gibson: “A week after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan claimed his Catholic faith inspired the Republicans’ cost-cutting budget plan, the nation’s Catholic bishops reiterated their demand that the federal budget protect the poor, and said the GOP measure “fails to meet these moral criteria.”  That and other strongly-worded judgments on the GOP budget proposal flew in a flurry of letters from leading bishops to the chairmen of key congressional committee.”

Elections 2012: Who is Really 'Pro-Life?'

Joni Eareckson Tada: “Like all good citizens, the elderly and people with disabilities want to eradicate waste and fraud from government, but helping people with special needs meet their basic needs doesn’t fit this description. The hallmark of a healthy society has always been measured by how it cares for the disadvantaged.

As people investigate the candidates on all issues, they should remember that being pro-life also means protecting the elderly and medically fragile people – it’s not a litmus test issue. If candidates believe that savings can be secured through undercutting basic services for the elderly and disabled, it can’t help but tarnish their stand as pro-life candidates.”

How the Working Poor Became the New Welfare Queens

Ed Kilgore: “The transformation is widely observable across the conservative landscape, with Republican fiscal proposals in the states and in Washington going after a host of other key support systems for the working poor with a vengeance: state-level EITCs, job training programs, unemployment benefits, food stamps, Medicaid, you name it. It’s also no coincidence that, in the agitation against the Affordable Care Act, many conservatives deliberately stoked resentment towards alleged redistribution of federal largesse from virtuous Medicare beneficiaries to the uninsured, who are, by definition, working individuals and families who don’t qualify for Medicaid for one reason or another.”

Catholic Bishops Blast Debt Deal, Tea Party Extremism

John Gehring: “Written by John Carr, executive director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the USSCB, the report is a frank assessment of a deal that asks nothing from the rich even as it puts the squeeze on those already having trouble making ends meet. “While the crisis of default was averted, for advocates of poor and vulnerable people, this debate was disappointing, ominous, and just the beginning,” Carr writes.”

Catholic Bishops Fear the Human and Social Costs of GOP Budget Cuts

USCCB: “We fear the human and social costs of substantial cuts to programs that serve families working to escape poverty, especially food and nutrition, child development and education, and affordable housing.

We also fear the costs of undermining international assistance which is an essential tool to promote human life and dignity, advance solidarity with poorer nations, and enhance global security. Such assistance supports a wide range of life-saving programs, including: drugs to combat diseases; assistance to poor farmers and orphans; food aid for starving people; aid to victims of natural disasters; and help to refugees fleeing for their lives. The House proposal will require massive cuts in all these areas. We support continuing reform of programs that serve poor people to make them even more effective.”

DFLA Board Member Steve Schneck takes on Paul Ryan

Steve Schneck: “At the beginning of life, Medicaid also pays for about one-third of all births in America. Maybe you know a scared young mom who needed such help. If you are pro-life, like me you realize what support for these births can mean.

Or maybe, like I do, you have a friend who lost his job and, despite best efforts, hasn’t found work. Unable to stretch unemployment insurance enough to make ends meet, he was embarrassed to need help, but at least he was able to feed his kids with food stamps. Maybe you, too, know a divorced mom with a special-needs child who is able to make it because of Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance. We all know people in these situations. They’re our neighbors, our friends, our relatives. Maybe we’ve been there, too — or worry that someday it might be us or our loved ones in such circumstances.

Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 budget strategist, would cut all these programs and many others like them just when folks are struggling to stay afloat.”

Starving the poor to balance the budget is wrong

DFLA Board Member Stephen Schneck: “We need fiscal prudence to tackle budget deficits. But it’s immoral to increase hunger in America when other options are available. At the very least, it’s reasonable to avoid any cuts to food assistance until charities, states and local governments are in a stronger position to respond. Surely, this is common ground for compassionate conservatives and progressives on Capitol Hill and at the White House. Let’s reign in wasteful spending, end irresponsible tax breaks for the rich and make smart budget choices that reflect our nation’s highest ideals. Don’t vote to starve the poor.”