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WASHINGTON—Catholic institutions rely on the charitable deduction to feed, house, clothe, educate, and care for millions of people around the world,” said the bishops who oversee the domestic and international justice and peace efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and should be protected in any final agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
In a December 14 letter to Congress, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, called the tax system an “important tool” for raising adequate revenue and fulfilling the responsibility of ensuring basic human needs, such as food, clothing, health care, work and education, are accessible to all people.
“One way our tax system attempts to accomplish this is with the charitable deduction, which encourages taxpayers to support private charity, religion, and education,” the bishops wrote.
In their letter, Bishop Blaire and Bishop Pates also noted the importance of protecting the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, poverty-focused international assistance, and other programs that “help guarantee basic human rights for millions of people.”
Bishop Blaire also joined other Christian leaders of the Circle of Protection in releasing principles regarding the ongoing budget negotiations surrounding the fiscal cliff, and calling on Republicans and Democrats to adhere to the basic moral principle of protecting programs that serve low-income people. Circle of Protection leaders also called for protecting the charitable deduction.
Statistics on the number of people served by Catholic charities is available online: www.usccb.org/about/media-relations/statistics/health-care-social-service.cfm
The full text of the bishops’ letter is also available online: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/federal-budget-letter-congress-2012-12-14.pdf
The Circle of Protection principles are available online at: http://circleofprotection.us/pdf/Fiscal%20Cliff%20COP%20Press%20Release_12%2019%2012.pdf
Keywords: Bishop Richard E. Pates, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, International Justice and Peace, Domestic Justice and Human Development, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, charitable deduction, Congress, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax credit, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, poverty-focused international assistance, affordable housing and community development, education, workforce development, sequestration, budget, fiscal cliff, revenue, circle of protection
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