The national budget proposed by President Donald Trump calls for increases in spending for immigration enforcement and a border wall between the United States and Mexico. It also calls for increases in military spending, including nuclear weapons. To pay for these increases, Trump proposes to decrease spending for health care, programs that help the poor and vulnerable, environmental protection and foreign aid. The proposed budget is harmful to the common good of the people of the United States, as well as people of other countries.
The “common good” is a term used to describe the welfare of all people of the United States. The growing divide between the rich and the rest of society during the last 30 years should be of grave concern to all citizens of this country, particularly those people who proclaim that they care for the poor and vulnerable of the nation.
Catholics proclaim that they care for the poor and vulnerable in their social teaching which builds upon Jesus statement in Matthew 25, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did unto me.” Catholic social teaching emphasizes “solidarity” among all people , a “preferential option for the poor” and “care for creation.” It is especially important at this time for Catholics to speak with one voice against Trump’s proposed budget, which will make our world less humane and less safe.
If we want peace, we must speak up for the common good and justice for all people.
[David Atwood is a Catholic peace and justice activist living in Houston, Texas.]