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Last Tuesday, Paul Ryan (R-WI) was interviewed by the Christian Broadcasting Network. Ryan explained that his Catholic faith helped him in assembling his harsh budget of austerity.
“A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves, in public and in private,so to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is: How do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person?” he said.
“To me, the principle of subsidiarity, which is really federalism, meaning government closest to the people governs best, having a civil society … where we, through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community, that’s how we advance the common good,” Ryan said.
The Wisconsin Republican said that he also drew on Catholic teachings regarding concern for the poor, and his interpretation of how that translated into government policy.
Translation: Jesus was a 10ther.
Hey, Jesus may have been a states rights kind of guy who preferred that the safety net for the poor and disadvantaged be made up of piddling and unreliable funds from car washes and bake sales......you know, maybe...... but what is undeniable is that Catholic bishops and social justice advocates don't see it Ryan's way...
A week later.....and look what transpired on the way to the church bake sale.....
60 Catholic social justice leaders, theologians and clergy.... released a statement saying that "this (Ryan) budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good."
"Congress faces a difficult task to balance needs and resources and allocate burdens and sacrifices," (Bishop) Blaire wrote to the House Agriculture Committee. "Just solutions, however, must require shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and fairly addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs."
"The House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria."
Kinda harsh. Village media and, naturally, Republican desperadoes, have been drooling....literally, drooling,....over the new GOP "idea man" Paul Ryan and his wonderful, fantastic, courageous, bold, and thoughtful budget plan. But Catholic bishops, who lead Ryan's church, have stated unequivocally that Ryan's budget is....well....immoral.
Ryan would cut $770 billion over 10 years from Medicaid and other health programs for the poor, compared with President Obama’s budget. He takes an additional $205 billion from Medicare, $1.6 trillion from the Obama health-care legislation and $1.9 trillion from a category simply labeled “other mandatory.” Pressed to explain this magic asterisk, Ryan allowed that the bulk of those “other mandatory” cuts come from food stamps, welfare, federal employee pensions and support for farmers.
Taken together, Ryan would cut spending on such programs by $5.3 trillion, much of which currently goes to the have-nots. He would then give that money to America’s haves: some $4.3 trillion in tax cuts, compared with current policies, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
The Ryan budget is the same immoral budget which GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, supports and defends. Ryan's austerity plans are so popular with states-rights-loving-yet-poor-hating conservatives hellbent on lowering taxes on the 1%,...that Ryan has even been touted as a possible running mate for the Mittster.
When asked about the Bishops criticisms of his austerity plan for the poor and tax cut windfall for the rich, Ryan responded.....
"These are not all the Catholic bishops, and we respectfully disagree."
But poor Pauly didn't even get that right....
USCCB spokesman Don Clemmer cleared the air in an email to TPM. “Bishops who chair USCCB committees are elected by their fellow bishops to represent all of the U.S. bishops on key issues at the national level,” he said. “The letters on the federal budget were written by bishops serving in this capacity.”
Recently, I called Paul Ryan a phony. The context then was Ryan's claim that he was a determined and deadly serious fiscal hawk who lived and breathed deficit and debt reduction....it was in his DNA. Of course, that's ludicrous. Ryan's budget increases the deficit and balloons the debt.
Now, from Ryan's exchange with Catholic bishops, I think it's safe to say that Ryan's claim that his Catholic faith instructed him on his "Jesus-was-a-tenther, plus church car washes and bake sales can feed 46 million hungry and poor Americans better than the U.S. government" budget......is just as phony.