Both the religious right and left have weighed in during the heated federal budget battle as Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget has seen its fair share of support and criticism from many religious leaders.
In a recent article appearing in Our Sunday Visitor Congressman Ryan explains how he used Catholic social doctrine to help draft his proposed budget opening up with his views on it should be utilized by politicians:
Catholic social doctrine is indispensable for officeholders, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to understand it. The wrong way is to treat it like a party platform or a utopian plan to solve all of society’s problems. Social teaching is not the monopoly of one political party, nor is it a moral command that confuses the preferential option for the poor with a preferential option for bigger government.
Policymakers apply timeless principles to policies that are necessarily limited by changing circumstances. The judgments of equally well-intentioned citizens may differ. Usually, there isn’t just one morally valid policy. Instead, there are better and worse ones calling for respectful dialogue and thoughtful judgment. The moral principles are dogmatic; the political responses are prudential.
Throughout the article Congressman Ryan defends his proposed budget by articulating how the poor and vulnerable will benefit, how it preserves human dignity, that it creates budgetary discipline (which according to the Congressman is a moral imperative), and abides by the principle of subsidiarity.
Furthermore, Congressman Ryan argues the U.S. government cannot keep the principles promoted by Catholic social doctrine if the country defaults stating: “Preferences for the poor, solidarity, subsidiarity, the common good and human dignity are disregarded when governments default and bankrupt economies stop producing. Economic well-being is a foundation stone of an enduring ‘civilization of love.’”
Here at the Acton Institute we also understand the importance of passing a federal budget that is morally sound. We wrote our Principles for Budget Reform where readers can find articles, videos, and blog posts in support of four vital principles.
To read the full article click here.
Click here to read the Acton Institute’s Principles for Budget Reform.