The Common Good

Budget Cuts and the Poor

Date: March 18, 2013

To the Editor:

Re “As Automatic Budget Cuts Go Into Effect, Poor May Be Hit Particularly Hard” (news article, March 4):

While this article may be a shock to many, faith leaders from the Circle of Protection have been tirelessly advocating for our elected officials to protect those living in poverty in the budget debates of the last several years. The critical entitlement programs serving low-income Americans that are protected in the sequester is evidence of the faith coalition’s effectiveness.

While certain low-income programs are shielded from cuts, that the sequester has taken effect is a moral tragedy. Rather than pursue the common good, Washington is focused on the politics of who is to blame for the collective failure.

Our elected leaders should listen to the voice of the faith community and all the other advocates for the poor and vulnerable. The partisan bickering and economic brinkmanship must end. A balanced solution to our fiscal challenges that reduces the deficit, protects the poor, grows our economy and replaces poverty with opportunity is urgently needed.

JIM WALLIS
President, Sojourners
Washington, March 5, 2013