The GOP’s Tax Bill Flies in the Face of Catholic Teaching and Values

John Gehring writes:

Republican leaders in Washington have long worshiped at the altar of free-market fundamentalism — and reverently recite the dubious creed of trickle-down economics — but this gaudy handout to the rich is a festival of greed that will deepen already scandalous levels of inequality….

Extreme inequality is not inevitable. We create opportunity or solidify what Pope Francis calls an “economy of exclusion and inequality” through policy decisions. And the United States is failing….

The massive increase to the deficit that most experts say will result from the passage of the tax legislation is more bad news for the poor and working families. Republican leaders are already eyeing Social Security, Medicare and other safety net programs to fill that gap. The political donors and corporations that benefit from this tax welfare giveaway to the rich won’t suffer from those inevitable cuts.

Sister Carren Herring writes:

This plan would cut taxes for the very wealthiest Americans, a massive giveaway to the affluent at the expense of everyone else. Those supporting these draconian policies have forgotten the words of Scripture, which command us to protect those in need and “care for the orphan and widow.”

I’m a Catholic Sister; why should I weigh in on technically complex policies like tax reform and budgets? Well, at their core, these policies are reflections of our nation’s moral priorities. When lawmakers consider where to set tax rates and how to spend public funds, it’s an opportunity for them to put The Golden Rule into action. They should ask whether their proposals will ensure that all Americans have the basic necessities: food on the table, a roof over their heads and health care. They should ask whether their policies allow our elders to live with dignity, whether they show compassion for those struggling with disease and poverty at home and abroad….

As a country, we all want to take care of our communal obligations and give a hand up to those in need. Tragically, the proposals many in Congress are championing would do exactly the opposite by abandoning the moral imperative to care for all members of our society while transferring even more wealth to the very top. All people of faith and conscience should speak out against these unjustifiable, unethical policies.

You can also read how the tax bill “turbocharges inequality,” in this article by David Leonhardt.