John Gehring, of Faith in Public Life, has a post up at U.S. Catholic, inw hich he loks at the Ryan budget. Better to say, Gehring skewers it.
Congressman Paul Ryan, House Budget Chairman, has a post up at Our Sunday Visitor in which he explains how he understands Catholic social teaching and its applicability to the budget he has proposed.
He neglects to mention that the USCCB, which knows rather a lot about social programs, how they work, and whom they help, disagree with his proposed cuts.
Still, Ryan gets points for trying.
I just wish he would read a bit more deeply in the writings of another Ryan, Msgr. John A. Ryan, who is sort of the father of Catholic social teaching in the U.S.
Ryan, the Monsignor, understood the need for government to assist those who have been marginalized by our incredibly dynamic society. He also recognized that unrestrained capitalism was a great danger to the stability of society, which is why he advocated for the very programs that Ryan, the Congressman, is aiming to gut.
ABC News has investigated Michelle Bachmann's family clinic and found that, among other things, the clinic is involved in "curing" gays.
Somehow, I think this story is going to have legs.
In yesterday’s New Republic, Ed Kilgore gave a brief overview of the ways that social conservatives, especially white evangelicals, have joined forces with secular conservatives to support their no-tax agenda. Kilgore’s article is fine so far as it goes and for a fuller explanation of the ways the Christian Right came to baptize laissez-faire economics, you are going to have to buy my biography of Jerry Falwell!
As part of Michelle Bachmann's effort to present herself as a serious candidate for the presidency, when introducing herself she notes that she was once a tax litigation attorney. The idea is that in her anti-tax crusade, the subject is something she knows about. Visions of her battling the feds to protect average folk from the IRS leap to mind.
Alas, it turns out that, according to the Atlantic, Bachmann did not crusade against the IRS, she worked for the IRS.
I read the article and could not get a singular image out of my mind. When Dorothy and her companions get to Oz and ask to see the Wizard, they are refused until she announces that she is "Dorothy" and she is wearing the ruby slippers and the doorkeeper says, "Ah, well, that's a horse of a different color!"
The Archdioceses of Washington and Baltimore and the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, have established a task force to defend Maryland's recently passed DREAM Act. Under the law, children of undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children and who have attended Maryland schools for three years would be able to pay in-state tuition at Maryland's public universities, instead of the much higher out-of-state tuition they would currently have to pay. Opponents of the measure have acquired enough signatures to put the issue to a referendum in 2012. The new Catholic task force aims to educate Catholics and others about the law and to urge support for the measure.
In case you missed it in our print edition, my article about the exciting changes at the Franciscan Action Neywork is now available online by clicking here.
Kathy Dahlkemper was one of the pro-life Democrats who lost her bid for re-election last year. She has penned an op-ed at The Hill, which talks about the negative consequences for the pro-life cause were the House GOP budget to be adopted. And, in words that resonate with my post this morning about subsidiarity, she writes, "Red flags should go up when an elected official supports cutting or ending a program that guarantees assistance meeting people’s basic needs and offers no evidence or even explanation describing how these needs will be met. Legislators like Congressman Paul Ryan and Speaker Boehner often argue that private charity and philanthropy is all that is required of Christians and faithful citizens. This argument denies the moral imperative in Catholic social teaching to create a just society directed toward the common good."
Politico has a great article up this morning that shows how limited House Speaker John Boehner is in budget negotiations with the White House and the Senate.
As I wrote at the time of last year's election, the GOP decided to feed the Tea Party tiger and then ride it to victory in the midterm elections. But, when you ride the tiger, you go where the tiger wants to go.
Boehner seems genuinely interested in striking a bargain, which is how our constitutional system is supposed to work. But, he is being hamstrung by anti-tax zealots in his own party.
In the on-going debate about the federal budget, several conservative Catholics have sought to defend the draconian cuts in federal spending being demanded by the House Republicans by invoking the principle of subsidiarity. The cuts are so manifestly directed at programs that assist the poor, while demanding precisely no sacrifices from the wealthy, that the invocation of subsidiarity bears the appearance of a fig leaf. Actually, the reality is worse.
Subsidiarity is the idea societal issues and problems are best dealt with at lower levels of social organization, and that the higher levels should intervene only when the lower levels have failed to achieve the social goal in question. So, the most basic social unit, the family, should deal with whatever problems it can, then turn to the community, the state and only as a last resort should the federal government be employed.