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The debt-deal’s biggest loser? Bishops. August 3, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.

Specifically, Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany and Bishop Stephen Blair of Stockton, two of the most……..hmmmm……amenable bishops to the growth of government you will find in this country.  Ripping off CMR again, Pat Archbold blogs that the biggest losers in the ‘debt deal’ are the bishops:

It seems that just about nobody is happy about the debt deal.  Tea-partiers feel they lost.  Liberals feel they lost. The American people certainly lost and whether he feels that way or not, President Obama surely lost.  But there are others that also lost in this deal.  Others that many people would be surprised to see in a list of losers because of the debt deal, Bishops Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York.  And by extension, all the Bishops of the USCCB lost in this deal.

Americans may have lost a great opportunity to get our fiscal house in order, politicians may have lost their base or some political capital, but the bishops lost something even more precious—their credibility.

It is often appropriate and even necessary for bishops, either individually or collectively, to weigh in on important moral matters of the day and I am usually a cheerleader when they do. Matters of grave importance could and should prompt bishops to weigh in on politics to make sure that inviolable principles are not violated.  The basic rights to life and liberty come to mind.

So in this vein, when many bishops weighed in on Obamacare and the plan to fund abortions with taxpayer dollars, some bishops rightfully spoke up to defend life.  That is a principle worth defending.  But when bishops speak up to defend federal programs from having the future rate of growth cut in extremely modest ways as a way to just begin to address the serious issue of runaway debt (which is also a moral problem,) the bishops do themselves and their confreres a disservice.

This is exactly what the Bishops of Stockton and Albany did when they issued a “pastoral” letter on this topic using Democrat talking points.

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.

Chuckie Schumer couldn’t have said it better.  What does that tell you?

When Bishops use their God-given office to defend baseline budgeting for programs of dubious value paid for by money we do not have, they destroy their credibility.  Further, when the whole house of cards comes crashing down, and it certainly will if we continue to follow the advice of these bishops, I can assure you that the poor will be hurt worst of all. And all the talking points in the world won’t do anything to help them then.

I totally agree.  That is my great fear regarding this nation’s unsustainable debt – by continuing the path of unconstrained growth and ridiculous debt, we face the rapidly growing risk of complete economic implosion that will cause the poor to suffer by far the most, but drag down many more people into poverty.  Bishops Hubbard and Blair call for higher taxes, but no matter how high taxes are set, government almost never takes in more than 19% of GDP in revenue – see graphic below. If taxes are raised, businesses and individuals change behavior to shield monies from taxation.  And you can gut military and all other ‘discretionary’ spending and we still face a massive, growing, unsustainable debt.  The only way to reduce the debt is to cut entitlement (wealth transfer) spending, and that is what Hubbard, Blair, and the apparatchiks at the USCCB find so “un-Catholic.”  That much of the revenue for most Catholic charities comes from the programs Hubbard and the USCCB are trying to protect is of course natural, but as Dr. Jeff Mirus and I said yesterday, is really part of the core problem in the Church.  The Church, especially in this and other western countries, has made a devil’s bargain with government – give us lots of money, and we’ll surrender more and more of our God-given rights and areas of influence to the state.  That is harsh, but that is the core of it, and the prime reason why the Church has all but evaporated in Europe.  I pray that does not come to pass here.

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