After Debt Ceiling Crisis, Real Work on US Social Policy Lies Ahead

By FilTeau, Jerry | National Catholic Reporter, August 19, 2011 | Go to article overview

After Debt Ceiling Crisis, Real Work on US Social Policy Lies Ahead


FilTeau, Jerry, National Catholic Reporter


WASHINGTON * Now that the so-called debt ceiling crisis is over for the time being (no one except a few tea party Republicans were actually willing to cast the United States into a political and economic quagmire that could have thrown this country and the entire world into a new Great Depression), the real work on future U.S. social/tax policies begins.

Almost no U.S. Catholic leaders have aligned themselves with the adamant Republican insistence on no tax increases for the very wealthy.

If lay Catholic allegiance to the church's social teaching on economic issues comes to play a major role in the next election cycle, it could spell the death of the tea party movement and a resurgence of the Democratic Party unseen since FDR's New Deal era, when Roosevelt oversaw policies of a minimum wage, a Social Security system for the elderly, and an end to child labor--all elements of Catholic social teaching that became an integral part of the U.S. social and political culture.

In the current economic/social/political upheaval, Catholic leaders have insisted that, if anything, the shared sacrifice demanded in recent months in the name of fiscal responsibility by both parties must include a substantive, equitable sharing of sacrifice by the well-to-do in coming years.

They also insist that upcoming federal policies must alleviate the burden of the nation's middle class and poor--the 80 to 90 percent of Americans who continue to be hit much harder by current and projected economic sacrifices than the economically elite who are sheltered from such vicissitudes by their wealth and their extraordinary tax breaks.

In particular, a number of Catholic and other Christian leaders have called for action to reverse the dramatically expanding wealth of a very few at the expense of the classes of upper-middle, middle, lower-middle or poor Americans.

Perhaps a key argument--not yet effectively utilized by church leaders, despite its potential populist and political appeal--is that Republican insistence on continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for the very rich undermines not only the nation's economic recovery but the very democracy on which the United States has been built for more than 200 years.

In both short-and long-term analysis, the U.S. bishops and other Catholic and Christian leaders have been saying that the nation's budget cannot be balanced on the backs of the poor and middle class and requires shared sacrifice by all--including the nation's richest people.

From Catholic leaders have come the following in recent days:

* "Our nation must be fiscally responsible in morally responsible ways," said the heads of Catholic Relief Services (Kenneth Hackett) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace (Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y.) in a July 29 letter to Congress protesting dramatic budget cuts in foreign aid for humanitarian projects assisting the poor in some of the world's neediest nations.

* "A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons," two bishops' conference committee chairs, Hubbard and Stockton, Calif., Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of the bishops' domestic policy committee, said July 29. "It requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

After Debt Ceiling Crisis, Real Work on US Social Policy Lies Ahead
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.