Immoral Budget Cuts: The Circle of Protection Vs. The Dependency Critique
As the Super Committee gets closer to its deadline, the Circle of Protection is still watching for immoral cuts to programs that serve the most vulnerable. Reverend Michael Livingston, Director of the National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative, went on public radio to talk about the coalition and why it is important for people of faith to be involved in the budget debate:
“I think the people of faith have been lacking in their response and a vigorous public engagement on issues of advocacy for people who are in need. I think we’ve been much too busy maintaining our houses of worship and being concerned with our own internal affairs–important as they are–and not paying enough attention to the common wealth, to the common good, to the family of people, all of whom were created in God’s image.”
The Circle of Protection rightly contends that the federal government has a responsibility to prevent families from falling further into the depths of poverty. Astonishingly enough, Livingston’s co-interviewee, Acton Institute Fellow Michael Miller, contends that safety-nets designed to prevent increased hardship is actually the cause of out-of-wedlock birthrates:
“…if you look, for example, at the African-American family, you look at the policies from the 1960s onward, you see out-of-wedlock birthrates were in, you know, low-20 percent, mid-20 percent, before the war on poverty. Now, they’re at about 75 percent, and that means three out of every four African-American child is born out of wedlock. Well, there’s no better indicator of poverty than to be born out of wedlock, and I think the state has actually created the incentive for this type of behavior.”
Miller’s “concern” for those born out-of-wedlock is yet another tired conservative talking point designed to simply shrink the federal budget and decrease taxes for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans.