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Blog: The Morality of Competing Budgets

Apr 03, 2014 | By Marge Clark, BVM

The House of Representatives is faced with a moral decision when asked to vote on alternative budget proposals as early as next week. Given that neither proposal will gain any traction in the Senate, both are messaging pieces setting the tone for mid-term elections.

The moral question for a legislator is: do I vote in favor of a budget proposal that further supports the rich and powerful – who fund election of candidates who further the narrowing of wealth and power? Or do I vote for a budget that provides millions of jobs, is responsible to repairing the crumbling infrastructure constructed by generations before us in order to leave a safe environment for next generations, and giving hardworking people living in poverty an opportunity to share in the immense wealth held in this nation?

The two budget proposals currently before members of the House present a stark contrast between these two stances. The Congressional Progressive Caucus released its BETTER OFF BUDGET a week ago and the House budget committee, under the guidance of Representative Paul Ryan released THE PATH TO PROSPERITY 2015 on April 1. What an appropriate date for such a document, as any reference to support of the common good is a joke.  These two proposals and the president’s request can be seen in a side-by-side chart at

In each category, the BETTER OFF BUDGET is a match to the priorities held by NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby. NETWORK strongly supports the BETTER OFF BUDGET. It is astounding to think that the House Republican budget puts no funding into creating jobs – adding to the rolls and cost of antipoverty programs, and lowering morale among our young people.  According to “The New Battleground Poll” (Lake Research Partners), this is a major issue keeping young