Congress Urged to Remember the Poor and Strengthen Families in U.S. Bishop’s Letter on Tax Reform

October 25, 2017 By Public Affairs Office
WASHINGTON—Ina letter today addressed to all members of Congress, Bishop Frank J. Dewane ofVenice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justiceand Human Development, called for legislators to consider bedrock moralprinciples as they approach tax reform.

"TheU.S. bishops have long emphasized that '[t]he tax system should be continuallyevaluated in terms of its impact on the poor,'" Bishop Dewane wrote. Quoting Pope Francis concerning the family,Bishop Dewane stressed that "[t]hose services which society offers its citizensare not a type of alms, but rather a genuine 'social debt' with respect to theinstitution of the family, which is foundational and which contributes to thecommon good."

AsCongress formulates proposals for tax reform based on the "Unified Frameworkfor Fixing Our Broken Tax Code," Bishop Dewane's letter articulated six moral principlesthat should guide lawmakers' decisions:

  • Carefor the poor;

  • Strengtheningfamilies;

  • Maintainingprogressivity of the tax code;

  • Raisingadequate revenue for the common good;

  • Avoidingcuts to poverty programs to finance tax reform; and

  • Incentivizingcharitable giving and development.

BishopDewane called on legislators to remember the poor and the common good whenconsidering taxes, writing that "you are urged to recognize the criticalobligation of creating a just framework aimed at the economic security of allpeople, especially the least of these."

Thefull letter is available at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/Tax-Reform-Principles-Letter-Congress-2017-10-25.pdf.

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Keywords:U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committeeon Domestic Justice and Human Development, Pope Francis, tax reform, U.S.Congress, moral principles.

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