Catholic Republicans to Catholic Bishops: STFU

Ryan to Catholic Bishops: "Are you talking to me?"

On Tuesday I wrote a post about Paul Ryan’s claim that his Catholic faith informed his budget plan.

The Conference of Catholic Bishops responded to this outrageous claim by sending letters to every Congressional Committee affected by the Ryan Budget explaining that Catholic doctrine does not support starving children and elderly people to death in order to give tax cuts to rich people and buy more weapons of war for the Pentagon.

Today Paul Ryan responded to the Bishops’ criticism.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Thursday dismissed criticism from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), falsely claiming the group did not represent all Catholic bishops.

Referencing Matthew 25, the USCCB called on Congress to put the poor first in budget priorities and rethink cuts to programs that benefited the least among us.

“These are not all the Catholic bishops, and we just respectfully disagree,” he said on Fox News after being questioned about the bishops criticism of his budget plan.

Later the Bishops responded to Ryan’s statement by explaining to The Hill:

USCCB spokesman Don Clemmer told The Hill that the letters do represent all Catholic bishops, as they were penned by members of the church that were elected to represent the bishops on policy matters at the national level.

“Bishops who chair USCCB committees are elected by their fellow bishops to represent all of the U.S. bishops on key issues at the national level,” Clemmer said. “The letters on the budget were written by bishops serving in this capacity.”

Yesterday, fellow Catholic John Boehner weighed in in support of his budget hit-man:

“I want them to take a bigger look,” Boehner said at a Wednesday press conference. “And the bigger look is, if we don’t make decisions, these programs won’t exist, and then they’ll really have something to worry about.”

Hmmmm…that sounds like a threat.

Boehner, a Catholic, acknowledged that the bishops had a moral argument in pushing to preserve aspects of the budget that provide aid to the poor, but said if the United States can’t get its finances in order, those programs would be completely eliminated through a fiscal crisis.

“There won’t be these programs, and I don’t know how often some of us have to talk about the fact that you can’t spend $1.3 trillion more than what you bring in — that’s what’s going to happen this year, $5 trillion worth of debt over the last five years — and think that this can continue,” Boehner said.

It seems that the opinion of Conference of Catholic Bishops is to be respected on abortion and birth control, but not on economic and social justice issues. I guess Ryan and Boehner are only “cafeteria Catholics.” Just look how Ryan responded last year when a fellow Catholic offered him a Bible so he could read about Jesus’ teachings.

Not a Catholic, but apparently not wanting to look less of a soulless, evil skinflint than Ryan and Boehner, Eric Cantor suggested the solution to the country’s economic problems is raising taxes on the poorest of the poor.

The GOP has repeatedly made the claim that the poorest Americans need more “skin in the game.” Today, response to a question by ABC’s Jon Karl, Cantor made it clear that Republicans are interested in raising taxes on the poor while lowering tax rates for everyone else as part of any comprehensive tax reform plan:

CANTOR: We also know that over 45 percent of the people in this country don’t pay income taxes at all, and we have to question whether that’s fair. And should we broaden the base in a way that we can lower the rates for everybody that pays taxes. […]

KARL: Just wondering, what do you do about that? Are you saying we need to have a tax increase on the 45 percent who right now pay no federal income tax?

CANTOR: I’m saying that, just in a macro way of looking at it, you’ve got to discuss that issue. … How do you deal with a shrinking pie and number of people and entities that support the operations of government, and how do you go about continuing to milk them more, if that’s what some want to do, but preserve their ability to provide the growth engine? … I’ve never believed that you go raise taxes on those that have been successful that are paying in, taking away from them, so that you just hand out and give to someone else.

As Think Progress points out, most of the people who don’t pay income taxes are students, elderly people receiving lower amounts of social security, or people so desperately poor that they don’t earn enough to pay taxes. These people are, however, subject to many taxes, such as gas taxes, property taxes, and federal payroll taxes if they are working.

I wonder what FDR would say about all this?

15 Comments on “Catholic Republicans to Catholic Bishops: STFU”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Now I’m waiting for Bishops to refuse communion to Ryan and Bohner as they did John Kerry for supporting choice. But I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Beata says:

    Paul Ryan says he’s “got some Bibles”. In fact, his favorite text from the Holy Scriptures is “The Gospel According to Ayn Rand”. He can quote it chapter and verse. He follows its precepts faithfully. It guides him throughout his life. He’s not alone.

    These people are shameless.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Or this one
      Mark 10:14 Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, so I can cut them off at the knees and send them on to the Kingdom of heaven”

      What a monster. Let’s cut his salary FIRST, 70%, right off the top. NO Benefits, No vacation No perks, Just do the peoples work or GET OUT RYAN.

      • bostonboomer says:


      • Beata says:

        And this one:

        Matthew 25:35 ~ “For I was hungry and you said “who cares?”; I was thirsty and you spit in my face; I was a stranger and you kicked me to the ground.”

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    BB…..That headline is priceless, Girl, you cracked me up.

    And this line a real homerun

    “It seems that the opinion of Conference of Catholic Bishops is to be respected on abortion and birth control, but not on economic and social justice issues. I guess Ryan and Boehner are only “cafeteria Catholics.”

    Out of the park. Thanks for giving me the news and a great laugh.

  4. janicen says:

    I just love when these monsters start saying that people whose income is so low that they pay no income tax need to “pay their fair share…”. It spotlights their heartlessness. Unbelievable.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It never occurs to them that people could pay a lot more in taxes if they had good jobs that paid fair wages instead of lousy jobs that pay less than they did in the 1970s and have far worse benefits.

      • Outis says:

        You keep hitting the nail on the head! Or if people had jobs at all, they could, um pay more taxes and shore up that “shrinking pie.” But noooooo…let’s beat sum more on on the wimmenz!

  5. northwestrain says:

    “The Family ” is probably associated with these GOP Catholics.

    Kindle location 4380 – this section ia about Brownback. Brownback was originally a Methodist. . . now he is a Catholic. According to author, the author, Brownback was baptized into the Catholic church but rather a chapel in what is called “Catholic Information Center”. This chapel is on K street run by the Opus Dei.

    The Catholics & the Family make strange bed fellows — but there is a sub-set of Catholics who have close ties to the Family. The Family’s ministry is to the ultra rich.

    My guess is that opus Dwi might have a Bishop or two — which is who the GOP Catholics is referring to when they claim that Bishops don’t speak for Bishops.???????

    If anyone has a hard copy of The Family — these are the pages where Catholicism is mentioned — 97, 261-262, 307, 323, and 381.

    The Family whore-ships the rich, as do thisGOP branch

  6. ecocatwoman says:

    Anyone think that Eric is including those big corporations that pay no taxes? Dr. Cornel West & Tavis Smiley were on NPR’s On Point last night talking about poverty and their new book, Rich & the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. Good show:

  7. northwestrain says:

    Ryan still looks like a vampire.

    I hope I’m not insulting the real vampires (grin – joke).