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Catholic Bishops Defend Pro-Family Tax Credits in Face of GOP Cuts

July 25, 2012, 5:31 pm | Posted by Nick Sementelli

Bishop Stephen BlaireAs Congress debates various tax and spending plans, the United States Catholic Bishops are weighing in with a poweful message about the moral terms of the debate.

In a pair of letters to Senators and Representatives, the Most Reverend Stephen E. Blaire, Bishop of Stockton, California and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development makes clear that the Bishops stand firmly against any plan that takes aim at the poor to protect the rich:

A just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons; 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.

In particular, Bishop Blaire identifies the importance of Earned Income Tax Credit and the refundable Child Tax Credit, which Republican lawmakers have singled out for elimination in order to pay for preserving tax cuts for the rich. He calls the tax credits “pro-work, pro-family, and some of the most effective antipoverty programs in our nation,” and specifically urges lawmakers to protect “improvements and extensions” to those credits, referring to the expansions made in the 2009 stimulus bill that helped more families weather the recession.

Over the last few years, Blaire and his committee have consistently condemned legislative proposals that violate this moral criteria, including the Paul Ryan budget plan adopted by House Republicans. And, despite Ryan’s claims to the contrary, Blaire’s letters do represent the official position of the Catholic bishops.

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