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More Catholic criticism for Ryan’s budget

April 24, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan is getting a dressing down from some Jesuits today. Actually, this letter is written by both religious and lay scholars and administrators from Georgetown University who are taking Ryan and his budget to task for failing to live up to Catholic teaching on helping the poor.

Ryan will deliver a lecture at Georgetown on Thursday, and the nearly 90 folks who signed the letter say

[W]e would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has wisely noted in several letters to Congress – “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” Catholic bishops recently wrote that “the House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.”

Ryan had invoked his faith in defending/explaining his proposed budget. But Catholic bishops criticized the cuts.

I love debates like this. For another take, check out this WaPo column. In defending Ryan against Bishop Stephen Blaire, opinion writer Marc A. Thiessen says:

Ryan’s budget can only be viewed as a “cut” when compared with the unprecedented levels of spending unleashed by President Obama, who has increased our national debt by more than $4 trillion in just 31 months — a new land-speed record for fiscal profligacy. In criticizing Ryan’s spending “cuts,” Bishop Blaire is effectively arguing that these unsustainable spending increases under Barack Obama are the new floor for what constitutes “social justice.” In this view, even a 20 percent increase in spending relative to 2008 is a violation of the “moral criteria” of the Catholic Church. That is ridiculous.

Did I mention that I love these debates? This is what makes me miss being on the religion beat.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jack Wirtz permalink
    May 3, 2012 11:31 am

    No comment, this is a “dog bites man” story….

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