Fiscal conservatism is just as Catholic

Fiscal conservatism is just as Catholic

A thoughtful Catholic op-ed writer debunks the prevailing wisdom that only Democrats embody Catholic social teaching. Democrats claim that Republicans want to starve the hungry and put poor people out on the street, but that’s just not true. Now, on the one hand, some Republicans have bought into the liberal agenda that government handouts solve problems of poverty and need and approve “nanny government” programs. On the other hand, other Republicans recognize that such handouts do nothing to solve the problems people face and act to give people the means to provide for themselves. But liberals call this cold-hearted and pretend to be the only ones who care about people.

This article is a good short exposition of why political fiscal conservatism is just as compatible with Catholic social teaching as social conservatism. Just because many bishops appear to lean toward fiscal liberalism, doesn’t mean that it is the only position a good Catholic can take on the issues.

  • Todd,

    That’s all just anti-Republican liberal propaganda as shoved down our throat by the mass media everyday. Republicans aren’t the party of the corporate elite, they are the party of average Americans. Just to look at one statistic, in 2002 when you look at all donations to PACs and parties, the Democrats received 92 percent of their money from 23 donors who gave at least $1 million each, while Republicans got 64 percent of their money from people who gave less than $200 each. (That’s from a recent Mona Charen column.)

    Sorry, Todd, but liberal dogma won’t go unanswered and unchallenged here.

  • I will agree with one thing Todd had to say. In order to fit in with either of the big parties, one has to allow for a bit of compromise. But then I’d rather compromise with the Republicans on some social justice stuff than with the Democrats in the murder of children.

  • I wouldn’t say the Republican offers major obstacles. They’re not even in the same league as the Democrats. And let’s not forget that there’s quite a large latitude on what’s an acceptable position on the death penalty. Church teaching allows for it in certain circumstances.

    And the US Catholic bishops’ stated positions on the issues raised by Novak are by no means the only permissible position. This is one of the areas when, again, the Church’s teachings allow for a variety of opinions. What it comes down to then is prudential judgment over which positions are indeed better than others.

  • Actually, you contradict yourself. The Pope does not say that the circumstances do not occur, but that they are rare. There is a difference. I happen to agree that we don’t need the death penalty in the US, but that’s not to say that a good Catholic can’t argue that the rare circumstance does apply to the US. A good Catholic can be for or against the death penalty within the “rare circumstance” criterion; that’s a wide latitude. You contradict yourself there as well: You say no latitude and then provide the exception.

    As for abortion, the directness is a matter of prudential judgment. The doctor and parents must judge whether this particular circumstance fits the moral criteria laid out by the Church.

  • Borrowing into oblivion is immoral. Borrowing to meet current needs is not. I agree that it would be preferable to not borrow, so you must agree with the Republican principle of the smaller government. Now which should we cut first? Department of Education?

    If you think the Dems are not liberal, I’m getting a very clear sense of your political leanings.

  • One of the few legitimate roles of the federal government is providing for the common defense. After 9/11 I don’t know how anybody can say the defense budget should be cut.

    And Reagan proved that tax cuts stimulate the economy and provide more tax revenue, not less. If that weren’t true, then no retailer would ever hold sales.