NETWORK firmly believes that the federal budget is a moral document because it presents the clearest expression of our nation’s priorities. Just as a family prioritizes expenditures and decides how it will cover those expenses, so does a nation.
NETWORK analyzes aspects of the federal budget each year in light of our faith, calling upon the totality of our Catholic social justice tradition. We are reminded that we are responsible for all of humanity and our varied ecosystems; and that we are to treat others as Jesus has before us.
We seek federal budget priorities built on justice, economic equity and compassion for those who struggle for economic survival.
The recent recession and current unemployment rates present particular challenges, especially with the added complications of the debt ceiling and "Fiscal Cliff."
Wealthy corporations and individuals recently became accustomed to budget and tax policies that allowed their finances to grow dramatically while the wealth of those of moderate means and those living in poverty declined steeply. We call on our elected officials to address this disparity.
There have been some recent efforts to reverse economic disparities and unjust policies, but the work is complicated by our current economic problems. Congress and the people of this nation must make difficult choices. For example, we must deal with proposed spending cuts, especially within the Pentagon budget, while making sure that human-needs programs receive the funding they need. We must also look at tax policies that favor those with the most over those with less.
One of the efforts to find budget solutions is the Faithful Budget.
NETWORK is currently working on several issues related to U.S. tax policies. These include:
Also of deep concern, our rising national debt will result in deep financial problems for future generations if we don’t deal with it in a responsible manner now.
- a strong safety net, ensuring the meeting of basic human needs
- a federal budget that promotes jobs and creates meaningful work when insufficient jobs are available through private markets
- progressive taxation, expecting those who are most able to invest the most in the common good
- federal responsibility for protection of ecological systems, preserving our environment for future generations.
- federal oversight and regulation of private industries and businesses to ensure safe and just practices.
Our national priorities must be refocused to prioritize the needs of the following groups who continue to receive less than fair treatment:
- children and families
- the elderly and people with disabilities
- Native Americans
- refugees and people impacted by U.S. military actions.