Budget should reflect Catholic sense of common good

As Congress works to strike a deal on President Obama’s federal budget proposal, let’s take a time out from the partisan spin and cable news punditry.

The budget debate should not be about abstract economic theories or tired ideological battles. It’s about choosing our priorities as a country and restoring belief in government that serves the common good.

Catholic Charities USA and other faith-based advocates for the poor have praised President Obama’s budget for a reason. It represents a fundamental shift away from decades of policies that made life easier for elite corporate executives and much harder for the poor and working class. It also recognizes that blind faith in the free- market is a fallacy built on quicksand.

This isn’t the specter of socialism. This is about stitching together fraying social safety nets that protect the most vulnerable and making sure the economy works for all Americans. By making critical investments in decaying public infrastructure, healthcare, education and other essential programs that impact the dignity of the human person, President Obama’s budget affirms many essential Catholic values in the public square.

'U.S. bishops damaging rich Catholic faith tradition'

The Catholic church has a problem on its hands. Just weeks before the presidential election, a few bishops and prelates have come dangerously close to making implicit political endorsements by telling Catholics that abortion trumps all other moral issues and lashing out against the Democratic Party.

For those who support an essential role for faith in public life, this is a disturbing trend for both religion and democracy.