Deja vu: Faith leaders critical of tax plan

By Elizabeth Lefebvre| comments | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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Faith leaders have issued a statement critiquing a tax plan that would harm families and the vulnerable. Does this situation sound familiar?

Well, it should, since it seems to be a pattern this year. This time, more than 60 leaders from a variety of faith traditions have united to oppose any tax proposals that don't extend improvements to refundable tax credits like the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. In a statement, the leaders said:

These tax credits help families meet basic needs, reduce poverty, and remove barriers to work. It is hypocritical for lawmakers who talk about family values to abandon improvements in these effective, family-supporting programs. Failing to extend the improved tax credits would jeopardize the economic security and well-being of more than 15 million families and more than 36 million children within those families. This is simply unconscionable.

And like he has many times before, last week Bishop Stephen Blaire, speaking for the entire conference of bishops, sent another letter urging congress to keep taxes in place that will help the working poor. He said:

It would be unjust and unwise to fail to renew improvements and extensions of low-income tax credits as the Congress addresses tax cuts for middle-income and wealthy Americans. Poor working families and their children may not have the most powerful lobbies, but they have the greatest needs and the most compelling claim.

Will we ever reach a point when the need for such letters and statements will disappear? Until then, we can reflect on another quote from the newest faith leaders critique:

Our religious tradition provides a vision for responsible government that serves the common good, not simply the privileged few.

Related:

Poor spending choices: Catholic values and the U.S. budget

A taxing problem: How can the nation help the poor?