ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Catholic Charities USA President Rev. Larry Snyder about the 2012 budget proposals:
"Catholic Charities USA and our local agencies recognize the fiscal challenges facing our nation's policymakers. To that end, we appreciate the leadership shown by both President Barack Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan in their focus on addressing our nation's deficit in their individual budget proposals for FY 2012.
"We appreciate the continued priority President Obama has placed on investment in innovative programs that address many of the greatest challenges facing Americans across the country and are pleased to see the lively discussion over the issue of entitlement reform sparked by Rep. Paul Ryan.
"We recognize that our country's leaders are grappling with many of the same tough budgeting decisions our volunteers and the families we serve through our hundreds of local programs around the country struggle with on a daily basis and acknowledge that social service initiatives will not be immune to the many tough choices that will be made as part of this process. However, we continue to reject the notion that those most vulnerable among us should feel the greatest impact of future reductions in spending.
"While the proposed ideas for streamlining state control over traditionally federally executed initiatives are an important part of the discussion for reform, a key ingredient is missing in the proposed prescriptions for America's economic future; the focus on a much-needed larger conversation regarding efficacy and efficiency in the spending of taxpayer dollars, whether that be through state or federal government.
"Data has shown that as much as 40 cents of every dollar allocated to existing government initiatives that provide a variety of assistance to the American people struggling through the economic recovery are lost in the bureaucratic red tape associated with those programs. True government reform necessitates a conversation dedicated to wise investment in efficiency and efficacy, not simply a reallocation of federal versus state responsibility in delivery. Simply repackaging responsibilities for the administration of existing programs continues to miss the opportunity for true reform that has the potential to both aid the country's nascent economic recovery and enable those most vulnerable among us to establish a stronger path to self-sufficiency.
"We encourage our nation's policymakers to embrace the urgency of our nation's fiscal challenge as reason for the creation of a new national approach to service delivery models that is market-driven, results-oriented and locally controlled, enabling the country to permanently make a difference in the lives of those living in poverty, and establishing accountability for the investment of taxpayer dollars. We continue to ask the President and members of Congress to join us in a critical conversation to identify long term economically sustainable solutions to the entrenched problems facing our country and its many local communities. But until that conversation takes place, and government has adequately addressed the issue of bureaucratic inefficiency, Catholic Charities will continue to fight to ensure that those in need are not disproportionately affected by cuts to critical services, at the state or federal level."
For more information about Catholic Charities USA visit www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.
Catholic Charities USA's members provide help and create hope for more than 9 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrated its centennial anniversary and introduced new federal legislation – the National Opportunity and Community Renewal Act (NOCRA) – to transform the nation's approach to poverty.
SOURCE Catholic Charities USA