The Romney-Ryan proposals are not pro-life

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Paul Ryan boasts that this election presents a clear choice between the Romney-Ryan plan of less government versus the Obama-Biden policy of shared sacrifice by all. Since Mr. Ryan also promotes his Catholicism to garner the support of Catholics and other Christians, it is necessary to consider the teachings of the Catholic Church to assess the Romney-Ryan budget plan.

The "less government" position is to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans to reduce the amount of money available to spend on social program but without cutting the defense budget. This is the essence of the Ryan budget. This plan has caused the Catholic bishops (www.usccb.org) to write Congress reaffirming the following teachings of the Catholic Church: "A just framework for further budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons; it requires shared sacrifices by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly."

The letter goes on: "A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects 'the least of these' (Matthew 25). The needs of those who are hungry and homeless, without work or in poverty should come first."

This is a serious pro-life teaching. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan propose to cut the education budget, including Pell grants; drastically reduce clean air, water and other environmental regulations; gut Medicaid and privatize Medicare; and eliminate government programs designed specifically for poor families, single parents who must work and the homeless.

Those who characterize Romney-Ryan as the pro-life ticket are not paying attention.

JOHN PILLAR
Mt. Lebanon


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