Thursday, February 21, 2013

Leslie Woods hosts "Faithful Budget" conversation on

This week, OPW's own Leslie Woods, Representative for Domestic Poverty & Environmental Issues, has been guest-hosting a conversation about "A Faithful Federal Budget" on

Read her article laying out the need for a Faithful Budget and her colleagues' invited responses:

A Faithful Federal Budget: What Does it Look Like and Why Does it Matter?
by Leslie Woods, Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness
"The federal deficit is not this nation’s most pressing problem. While it is a long-term problem that needs a long-term solution, more urgent are the problems of rising inequality, economic injustice, contempt for the common good, and a startling lack of civility that allows us to demonize the “other” while avoiding responsibility for our collective sins and our complicity in our unjust systems.  Indeed, much more important than the fiscal deficit is our human deficit, where need, hunger, and insecurity result from our lack of investment in people and the community structures that keep people safe, healthy, and happy."

Challenging the False Notion of Scarcity
by John Hill, United Methodist General Board of Church and Society
"How can it be that in the midst of the greatest jobs crisis since the Great Depression, with millions unemployed and millions more underemployed, our leaders in the hallowed halls I had just ridden past seem more concerned with cutting spending and protecting privilege than building community and more justly sharing prosperity?...
"I fear we have so bought into the notion of scarcity that is being peddled – mostly by those who have plenty – that we fail to recognize its fallacy, ask faithful questions and embrace God’s economy of abundance."

The Federal Budget Deficit: the foundation of a healthy economy and prosperous nation that can pay its debts
by Edith Rasell, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
"Putting people back to work and back to paying taxes; strengthening the economy to reduce spending on unemployment benefits, food stamps, Medicaid, and other safety net programs; and raising taxes on those who have most greatly benefited from the last 40 years of skewed economic gains are the best way to reduce the deficit...
"Unemployment, not the deficit, continues to be the nation’s main problem."

Tax Reform: The Next Big Thing in the Federal Budget Debates 
by Amelia Kegan, Bread for the World
"The fiscal cliff ended with a deal that raises about $620 billion in new tax revenue over the next decade. Some say that the tax decisions were made and behind us. But for those of us who care about our country’s ability to address hunger and help people move out of poverty, the fiscal cliff deal cannot be the last word on revenues. As Congress struggles to find another one to one and a half trillion dollars in deficit reduction, we absolutely need more revenues if programs that reduce hunger and poverty are to remain effective and funded."

Read these and many more thought-provoking conversations and articles