Social Justice Bulletin #5: The Budget
Contributed by: Sister Pat Wittberg, S.C.
Within the next two weeks, Congress must pass a budget outlining how the revenue the government receives from our taxes will be allocated. This budget is a moral document. It determines how much money – if any – will be used to fund everything from the National Institutes of Health to the Pentagon, from rural health programs to foreign military aid.
One of the foundational principles of Catholic Social Teaching is care for the poor and vulnerable. If the current budget allocates less money for SNAP (food stamps) and the WIC nutrition program for pregnant and nursing mothers, children will go hungry. If the current budget allocates less money for cleaning up lead-contaminated water supplies, those exposed will suffer. If the current budget allocates less money for housing the elderly, caring for veterans, or medical research, people will suffer. Even things we don’t think about – will the 2020 U.S. Census have enough money to count hard-to-reach poor people in inner cities and isolated rural areas? – depend on this year’s budget.
Below are some web sites to read more about the impact of the budget on the poor and vulnerable. Then contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to pass a budget that gives preference to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. Bread for the World: http://www.bread.org/information-for-activists
Catholic Climate Covenant: http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/Advocacy