US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Are those crickets I hear? Catholic silence on tax cuts

By Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

After all the ink and hypertext spilled over health care reform and "death panels" and the like, I'm wondering where all the high-toned Catholic voices have gone now that an ascendant GOP is calling the shots in Washington. The president and Senate Republicans are striking a deeply immoral deal that will give billions away to the richest Americans for two years--while extending unemployment benefits for a mere 13 weeks [correction: months]. And we still await ratification of the new START treaty, a measure to control the most fundamentally immoral weapons ever created, despite pleas from religious leaders that the treaty be accepted.

A basic principle of Catholic social justice teaching is that public policy should be directed toward society's most vulnerable. We in this country have decided, however, that we would rather spend our treasure on immoral wars that will only sow greater future violence, along with giveaways to the richest among us--people who have benefited both from relatively low tax rates and direct government intervention in support of Wall Street and the banking industry, who have become wealthier despite this recession. Actually, we've not only spent our treasure on such abominations, we have mortgaged our future on them too.

This while some 60 million Americans lack health insurance, 3 million receive foreclosure notices this year alone due primarily to unemployment, and Americans suffer poverty and food insecurity in ever greater numbers. What is wrong with this picture?

It puzzles me that Catholics can get into an amazing lather opposing universal health care for fear of federal funding of abortion, but few will raise their voices when the common good is hijacked to enrich an ever smaller number of plutocrats. It is not only immoral, and a violation of Catholic social teaching, it is profoundly obscene.