Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Nuns On The Bus tour wrapped up in Washington D.C. this week, where Ayn Rand acolyte Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) failed to meet with the good sisters both in D.C. and at his Janesville, WI congressional office, after numerous requests. Republicans Rebuff Catholic Nuns on the Bus | Politicol.
Ryan claims to be a good Catholic boy, but no good Catholic boy would have stiffed the good sisters. I warned you Pauly, don't mess with the penguins!
Suzy Khimm at Ezra Klein's WonkBlog reports Budget smackdown! Paul Ryan vs. Catholic nuns on a bus:
“It’s immoral!” the 81-year-old Catholic nun said of the Wisconsin Republican’s fiscal plan, as the crowd gathered on Capitol Hill erupted in cheers. Another nun, Sister Simone Campbell, denounced the proposed cuts to food stamps, child care, and other programs for the needy. “That’s not Christian,” said Campbell, who leads a Catholic social justice lobby called NETWORK. Campbell reminded her supporters of the Bible’s teachings on charity and compassion—but threw in a dash of realism as well. “Sisters don’t just do it with grace,” she explained. “For heaven’s sake, we need money!”
The nuns were concluding a two-week bus tour through nine swing states to protest the Ryan budget proposal, contending that it undermined Catholic teachings to serve the poor and vulnerable.
But the Catholic nuns also understand that Kumbaya moments aren’t enough to change votes in Washington: They have a full-fledged lobbying campaign, complete with a 53-page “faithful budget” that outlines their own fiscal priorities in considerable detail, backed by an interfaith coalition of social justice groups.
Sister Marge Clark, of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a nun-turned-Washington lobbyist—Clark has spent eight years advocating for Catholic social justice issues on the Hill.
Sister Clark points out that even Senate Democrats agreed to cut $4 billion in food stamp spending in for the 2013 budget, though they fended off the most draconian cuts that Republicans proposed. “It’s discouraging,” she says. “Both [sides] are looking at terrible, terrible cuts.” Under their alternative budget, the Catholic nuns want to boost spending for supplemental food programs and welfare, expand the Child Tax Credit and a tax credit for working poor Americans without children, and invest in public school infrastructure projects, among other changes.
To pay for such programs—and tackle the deficit—their budget “a tax system founded on fairness and shared commitment…among individuals and corporations to take care of our needs and priorities.”
In other words: higher taxes for the rich. ”Question austerity!” Campbell proclaimed during her speech. ”The only way out of this is to raise revenue.” Clark, for one, argued that “tax expenditures” are really lost revenue in disguise. “‘Expend’ means spending,” she said. “We’re spending a lot of federal money, and we don’t need these tax breaks.”
Paul Ryan has been under a steady hail of criticism from Catholic groups over his budget. The U.S. Conference of Bishops similarly denounced his spending plan in the spring, arguing that it “fails to meet” the moral principles of the Catholic Church.
Steve Benen adds in This Week in God (h/t photo):
Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced a resolution this week, coinciding with the end of the tour, honoring the nuns. They said in a statement that the resolution "recognizes the Catholic Sisters' fulfillment of their vital missions to teach our children, care for the sick, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, lead major institutions, demand corporate responsibility and fight for policies that promote human dignity."