Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
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Faith Partners Make Progress on 2010 Offering

Providing for everyone

June 2010

Give generously and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.

Deuteronomy 15:10-11

Bread for the World’s 2010 Offering of Letters urges Congress to protect and strengthen tax credits that help low-income working families make ends meet. Our efforts are greatly strengthened by our partnership with a community of faith groups concerned about tax policy.

As people of faith, we realize that the federal budget and tax policy are moral issues. Where we commit our resources and how we raise money to provide for the common good reveal our values. So do the financial incentives built into our tax system—for example, those that reward people for owning a home and saving for retirement.

Because of the way tax benefits are structured, too often low-wage workers do not earn enough to qualify.

“We must ensure that those with the least do not bear the greatest burden in our tax structure,” said Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA.

Members of the faith community convened this spring to formulate a set of principles for national tax policy. Here are four of their recommendations for what tax policy should accomplish:

  • Provide adequate income assistance and related services to working families and individuals;
  • Strengthen and expand programs that support low-income working parents with children;
  • Provide incentives to pursue and maintain employment and increase earnings;
  • Strengthen and expand programs that support workers’ efforts to develop their human capital, invest in their financial security, and achieve self-sufficiency.

“We support national policies that enlarge opportunities for all people to have an income adequate to maintain health and dignity,” said Ruth Flower, legislative director, Friends Committee on National Legislation.

The community of faith groups will be organizing joint meetings with members of Congress and coordinating our Capitol Hill communications. Partners also consult with each other to find the most effective ways of engaging key members of Congress in strengthening tax credits for low-income workers.

So far, the following organizations have signed on to the principles:

  • Bread for the World
  • Catholic Charities USA
  • Conf. of Major Superiors of Men
  • The Episcopal Church
  • ELCA
  • Franciscan Action Network
  • Friends Committee on Nat’l Legislation
  • Islamic Relief USA
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • Nat’l Council of Churches of Christ, USA
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Ministries, American Baptist Churches USA
  • NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office
  • Sojourners
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • The United Methodist Church –  General Board of Church and Society

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