photo of Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA

CCUSA and the Fiscal Cliff

As discussions to address the impending “fiscal cliff” continue, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is working to ensure that policymakers are aware of how their federal spending decisions have the potential to significantly impact the more than 46 million individuals that are living in poverty in this country.

As I stated during a recent interview I had with a reporter at Time:

“If we have to cut back our services, then the government is just going to have more people at their door. It really is one of those things where you cut off your nose to spite your face.”

While we realize that tough choices will be made as part of this country’s difficult economic situation, we reject the notion that those most vulnerable among us should feel the biggest impact.

Through visits with Congressional staff and letters such as this one, CCUSA has been actively calling on Congress to prioritize investment in initiatives that have proven to be efficient and effective, ensuring taxpayer dollars are being spent not on government bureaucracy, but on the people in communities across the country who continue to struggle.

This consideration extends to the important role that individual donors play in the ability for service providers and human services organizations to continue to meet the needs of the millions that come to us for help.

Recently, I co-authored an editorial with Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide, where we point out that Congress and the administration must recognize how important the nonprofit sector is to our country:

“The charitable deduction is different than other itemized deductions. It encourages giving, rewards a selfless act, and helps raise more for charities than would have otherwise been possible. Data suggests that for every dollar a donor gets in tax relief, the public typically receives $3 of benefit. No other tax provision generates that kind of positive public impact.”

At CCUSA, we believe that the federal budget is a moral document that demonstrates the nation’s priorities. Therefore, the needs and concerns of the most vulnerable must be a top priority.