photo of Larry Snyder, President of Catholic Charities USA

In the Deficit Battle We Are the Voice of the Poor

The news this week has been filled with reports on the federal deficit and the failure, as of this writing, for officials in Washington to agree on a course of action.  Raise the debt ceiling? Or default on payments if the budget isn’t cut?  From Wall Street to your local supermarket Americans are worried about the choice that has been presented:  go further into a debt that mortgages our future or risk total collapse of the economy today because of the principles of a few.

We, as Catholic Charities, would like to respond by looking at this situation through the lens of our principles – the principles that Jesus taught and that we have encoded in Catholic social teaching: to love God and love our neighbor.  Our primary concern is for the poor, and the growing numbers who are becoming poor.  We stand firmly against any initiative that would threaten the wellbeing of the 47.8 million Americans who are struggling in poverty, and the 14.1 million who are unemployed.

We realize that we need to think and act anew about our government programs and spending. But we strongly assert that the inherent dignity and value of every American, the primacy of the common good, and the preferential option for the poor should be at the forefront of any and all discussions taking place.