Congressman cites Catholic social teaching in defense of budget proposal

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, says his Catholic faith guided him in developing his deficit-slashing federal spending plan. The Wisconsin Republican made the comments in an exclusive interview with David Brody on the Christian Broadcasting Network taped on April 10 and scheduled to air today.

Ryan’s proposed budget, released on April 5, would trim the federal deficit by $4.4 trillion over 10 years by, among other things, repealing ‘Obamacare,’ reforming other government entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and reducing defense spending by incorporating cuts already approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

President Obama immediately attacked Ryan’s plan, calling it “thinly veiled social Darwinism.” But Ryan defended his proposal in the CBN interview, saying he was guided by the Catholic principle of subsidiarity when he developed it.

The following are excerpts from that interview from the CBN website:

David Brody: Tell me a little bit about the morality and the debt. Where does your Catholic faith play into the way this budget is crafted?

Paul Ryan: A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private. So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person?

To me, the principle of subsidiarity, which is really federalism, meaning government closest to the people governs best, having a civil society of the principal of solidarity where we, through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community, that’s how we advance the common good. By not having big government crowd out civic society, but by having enough space in our communities so that we can interact with each other, and take care of people who are down and out in our communities.

Those principles are very, very important, and the preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenants of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life. Help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence.

For more details of the interview on CBN, Click Here.



Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:23 AM By OSCAR
CCC: ” 1885 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.”

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:24 AM By OSCAR
CCC: ” 1894 In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.”

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:25 AM By OSCAR
CCC: “1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which “a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co- ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good .”

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:27 AM By OSCAR
CCC: “2209 The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the family’s prerogatives or interfere in its life.”

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:40 AM By Kathleen
Congressman Ryan is correct. When the Federal Government gets involved in funding and making laws, they insist upon the power of making and enforcing their own rules according to the lack of morals of those in power. Bishops and others must stop asking the Federal Government to do things which are not included in the US Constitution – because it gives the Government more POWER over all US citizens. FREEDOM is lost, such as in Obamacare.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:44 AM By PAUL
At our first judgement, we will be asked – what did you do to help the poor, NOT what did your government do to help the poor. Jesus taught each of us as individuals including Loving our Neighbors and Helping the Poor; He did not say our government must do this or that.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 3:05 AM By Dana
Oh,the irony! Obama accusing a faithful Catholic of social Darwinism. Has he no shame? Actually, that was redundant as well as rhetorical. Congressman Ryan is a beacon of hope and sanity in an ever darker world.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:01 AM By Life Lady
I don’t want to respond with cynicism to Paul Ryan. I understand where he’s coming from. Bigger government is not the answer and I do agree that the Democrats have no real presence of mind for the poor. The present welfare system is extremely flawed in that it does nothing but keep the poor poor. My understanding is that Mr.Ryan endorsed Romney, and I was shocked to hear that. But without giving away too much I am going to watch, listen and learn. As someone has already said to me “it’s out of our hands let’s wait and see what God is going to do”. God may provide us all with a way to help ourselves and our country. I know we are all praying for that. Let’s all continue in that way. He will never abandon us if we continue to love Him and seek to do His will.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:24 AM By Sandra
Amen, Amen, AMEN! Welfare, perpetrated by Obama’s government keeps the poor as slaves and as victims. Everyone, get up! Study, work, and care for each other!

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:32 AM By Ted
Congressman Ryan is a light within the dark pall that threatens to smother Washington D.C. President Obama is a complete Socialist idealogue, and must be thrown out of office, along with most Democratic Party legislators. Fiscal sanity is not “Social Darwinism”. Obama wants to burden the next five generations or so with the costs (plus interest) of buying votes. Almost 50% of the population gets some form of Federal aid. The bills cannot be paid by taxing more, they have to be erased by responsible legislators spending on the things allowed in the Constitution and ONLY those things. It’s a no-brainer that should generate no argument. If it’s not specifically allowed in the Consttution, do away with that spending entirely.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 7:44 AM By JMJ
Doesn’t Rep. Ryan realize that he is talking about what this country is suppose to be doing, which is against the evil of OBAMANISM and what Obama is forcing down our throats as he is out to destroy America and the world? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the politicians believed in God and be doing what God wants for this country as Rep. Ryan is trying to do? We can tell that he is not from Mass. or California, thinking in this manner. +JMJ+

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 9:08 AM By Larry
I agree with Kathleen. It’s time for the Bishops and Catholic agnencies to stop asking the Federal and other governmental entities for grants and handouts. If that means cutting back our charitable activities, so be it. And let’s cut the staffing of Church organizations correspondingly, from Catholic Charities to the chanceries.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:05 AM By sam
God bless Congressman Ryan 4 his enduring faith even in the midst of attacks.I dare to hope that Romney asks him to be VP of this nation,together they make a wonderful team of goodness integrity,and commitment to the truth w/great modesty & humility but valor.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:25 AM By Bakersfield Crusader
May the heel of those who understand the proper role of government crush the head of the serpent that is Obamanism.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:32 AM By Maryanne Leonard
JMJ, your comment slams every Californian. Although you may believe you know how bright or wise every Californian is, and do not believe a single one is as capable of clear thinking as Representative Ryan of Wisconsin appears to be, your comment reflects prejudice and a lack of clear thinking on your part. I don’t know what state or even country you may be from, but I am going to assume there are people in your state who can successfully challenge statements such as yours and perhaps show clearer thinking and far less prejudicial judgment than you have leveled against the entire citizenry of two of our greatest states, which happen to be home to many of the finest institutions of higher learning in the entire world. Care to rethink your statement? A site such as this is supposed to be a place for Catholics to exchange ideas on matters of interest to ourselves and to our fellow Catholics, not merely to slander one another broadly and indefensibly and make ourselves look ridiculous in the process.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:48 AM By RB2
Maryanne Leonard, get off your California high horse. When God punishes California and other places just hope that like Sodom he takes the good few people, like me and you, out of it first. Orange County,Calif.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:17 PM By Anne T.
I like Rep. Paul Ryan. God bless him! he makes a lot of sense to me on many things.Charity begins at home, the domestic church — in the tradtional family for the most part. The government should pass laws that help the family support itself and stay together and not interfer in their business unless real abuse is taking place.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:29 PM By Catherine
RB2, I disagree with your statement accusing Maryanne Leonard of placing herself on a California High Horse. I truly believe that Maryanne Leonard recognizes that where evil is, grace abounded all the more. That takes faith and that takes great trust. I notice that you wrote that you are one of the few good people in California. I noticed that you also included Maryanne’s name which was kind but Maryanne has never once singled herself out as being more worthy of God’s mercy than others in California or for that matter anywhere. I am also praying for holy and faithful leadership in Orange County.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:51 PM By Daniel Nichols
Spare me, please. Congressman Ryan speaks admiringly of Ayn Rand and pushes her books on his staff. That woman professes the ethics of Antichrist and lived her life accordingly. Ryan is just using “subsidiarity” the way that other dissenters on social doctrine do, as a tool to undermine the authentic tradition. Subsidiarity without solidarity leads to individualism, and yes, social Darwinism.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:09 PM By Tracy
Thank you Rep. Paul Ryan for your courageous stand. I have always “believed” that collectivism was immoral. However, until I recently discovered that the CCC clearly shows that collectivism is immoral, I’d have to say that I was always scratching my head. Why? Because, I am continually hearing petitions at Mass which ask God to move our government officials take care of the poor above all things. This is reinforced by our Bishops and other church leaders speaking out boldly against reductions in government welfare, etc. and supporting unions. I believe that for most modern day Catholics, the “principle of subsidiarity” is seen as “anti-Catholic” while the “principle of collectivism” is seen as true Catholic teaching. When are the Bishops going to join together to correct this error just as they have with the birth control mandate?

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:24 PM By JLS
What level of faith and intellect would push Ayn Rand on a political staff? Seems like a really dumb thing to do.

Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 5:10 PM By JLS
Quick study of Rep Ryan shows he is a disciple of Ayn Rand. Rand is no friend of the Church, but a competitor. My initial view of Ryan is “puppet”. He is not what he seems to be.