The federal budget is a moral document

by Mary Ann McGivern

View Author Profile

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts to Letters to the Editor. Learn more

The federal budget is a moral document. Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners, has led a campaign the past six years or so to call our elected senators and representatives to be mindful of their moral responsibility to the poor. I got arrested on the steps of one of the House office buildings in one of the Sojourners actions back in 2006.

However, Todd Akin, Missouri congressman and Senate candidate, believes government should be out of the business of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He says it's the responsibility of the churches. Oh, dear. I wish the churches had the will, not to mention the capacity.

But really, I believe care of those in need is a measure of the quality of any society. For that Todd Akin would call me a liberal. He says liberals hate God. Again: oh, dear.

That takes us to today's debate about the debt ceiling. Yes, we've run up a big debt, waging war and giving tax cuts to the rich, collecting FICA taxes, paying medical providers, giving all that foreign aid. The cuts in current legislation are on the backs of the poor. Call me a liberal, but when I weep for the poor, I think I'm shedding God's tears.

Last November The New York Times published an interactive debt and deficit chart. You too can make the choices Congress is grappling with -- and you can read what others have chosen. The whole process takes about 10 minutes.

I wrote about this chart last March, urging readers to take a look. The chart is still posted here.

It doesn't include every choice one could make. I'd go heavier on military procurement, for example. But it enlightened me about where the money goes.

Take a look if you haven't already. See what choices you would make.

Latest News


1x per dayDaily Newsletters
1x per weekWeekly Newsletters
2x WeeklyBiweekly Newsletters