Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Unto the Least of These 

Our esteemed colleague Deborah White of Heart, Soul, & Humor links to a fine screed by Jim Wallis of the lefty Christian group (and yes, in a just world, that would be a redundancy) Sojourners, reminding us that "Budgets are moral documents that reflect the values and priorities of a family, church, organization, city, state, or nation":
The cost of the deficit is increasingly borne by the poor. The budget projects a record $427 billion deficit, and a promise to make tax cuts benefiting the wealthiest permanent. Religious communities spoke clearly in the past years about the perils of a domestic policy based primarily on tax cuts for the rich, program cuts for low-income people, and an expectation of faith-based charity. We must speak clearly now about a budget lacking moral vision. A budget that scapegoats the poor and fattens the rich, that asks for sacrifice mostly from those who can least afford it, is a moral outrage.

Low-income people should not be punished for decisions that placed us in financial straits. Rather than moving toward a “living family income,” the budget stifles opportunities for low-income families, which are vital for national economic security. Our future is in serious jeopardy if one in three proposed program cuts are to education initiatives (after a highly touted “No Child Left Behind” effort), there will be less flexibility to include working poor families with children on Medicaid, and reductions in community and rural development, job training, food stamps, and housing are accepted as solutions for reducing the deficit. Cutting pro-work and pro-family supports for the less fortunate jeopardizes the common good. And this while defense spending rises again to $419 billion (not including any additional spending for war in Iraq).

These budget priorities would cause the prophets to rise up in righteous indignation, as should we.
If you'd like to write your Congressperson to protest the Bush budget, Sojourners makes it as easy as possible. Just click here.

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