Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan, Catholicism, and Budgets

Paul Ryan is a Catholic...in politics...in good standing with his bishop...bet you didn't think anyone in politics fit that mold!

We're going to hear a lot of distortion coming from people trying to say basically this: "Paul Ryan is for slashing the budget and hurting poor people, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, etc. are for late-term abortions, they're both equally bad Catholics."

That is a horrible argument, and a decidedly non-Catholic argument.

When Rep. Ryan released a budget plan a year or so ago that would attempt to reel our country's debt back in, he was lambasted by professors at Georgetown for violating Catholic Social Teaching because the budget was spun to be tough on the poor, and some programs obviously were cut that have traditionally been in place.  That's what happens when you cut a budget down.

A famous phrase in companies and politics is "a budget is a moral statement", which means a budget reflects what you value.  Well, if a budget continues to be 2 trillion dollars off every year, what does that say other than "we think, as a country, that we can spend without consequences."  That is also a violation of Church teaching.

If the U.S. is spending 2 trillion more than it has EVERY YEAR, then the person who comes up with a plan to trim that down is obviously going to have to cut some things out.  Can we really fault the trimmer?  No...the problem was the person who set the program up in the first place and didn't figure out how to pay for it.  Of course Ryan is going to look bad, any person who is going to try to save our country financially will have to cut some programs for the poor, etc.

This brings up two things I've been saying on here for years - the Church actually says, in it's Catholic Social Teaching document, that it is only for TEMPORARY WELFARE, not permanent (click here and here to read those posts).  All the Georgetown profs might want to dust off their copy of the Catholic Social Teaching.


I've written many times about how only people who have read the Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching ought to be able to comment on Catholic Social Teaching (click here for the post where I encourage only allowing people who have been licensed in Catholic Social Teaching to speak on it).

Here is Rep. Ryan talking about his budget.  It is quite clear that his budget actually can be explained in light of Catholic Social Teaching.  Here is a guy who understands Catholic Social Teaching.  It is also quite clear to any reasonable Catholic that trimming certain programs in our government is not the same as supporting partial birth abortion.



Paul Ryan speech at Georgetown University from David Morse on Vimeo.