During the hearing on the food pantry and PRC tax credits, Senator John Lamping (R-Clayton) said that these programs encourage community involvement. He said it is not just recipients, but volunteers who benefit. Senator Lamping would like to see more community programs that spur volunteerism and direct interaction with the needy. The personal touch can have a transforming effect on the lives of all those involved, he observed. The Senator’s proposed tax credit for dependent children has been proposed in the same spirit, a desire to allow families to keep more of their taxable income so they can decide how best to help their children.
Catholic teaching espouses family and community life through the principle of subsidiary. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church warns against larger organizations absorbing or destroying the rightful place of families and local communities, which often are in a better position to address problems because of their first-hand knowledge of the situation (Compendium, par. 186). There is certainly a place for public services, but often the best approach is to empower families and local communities. Many of the tax credits under consideration this year are animated by this philosophy.
Posted: January 31, 2014