Ideally, in budget deliberations legislators keep in mind the best interest of all of the citizens, the common good. But it is only human nature to pay attention to those who are close at hand. Powerful special interests are well represented in the capitol. The interests of the poor are advocated by a few, including the MCC, but it is a challenge to ensure funding for programs that benefit the politically powerless.
While upholding the common good is the responsibility of all, government plays a key role. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states, “the responsibility for attaining the common good, besides falling to individual persons, belongs also to the State, since the common good is the reason that the political authority exists” (par. 168). In upholding the common good, government must ensure that all persons have access to those things necessary to live a truly human life, including education, health care, food, and clothing (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1908). It is based on this understanding of the common good that the MCC approaches state budget issues, with special attention given to addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in our state.
Posted: January 24, 2014