Paul Ryan speech at Georgetown greeted by protests

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan sought to tamp down concerns from Catholic leaders about the impact of his budget proposal on the poor during a speech at Georgetown University Thursday.

The Ryan budget has drawn criticism from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and from over 100 Georgetown faculty who charged the Budget Committee chairman with distorting Catholic social teaching.

“I suppose there are some Catholics who for a long time have thought they had a monopoly of sorts… not exactly on heaven, but on the social teaching of our Church. Of course there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this,” Ryan said . “The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it.

“What I have to say about the social doctrine of the Church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding to the problems of the day.”

Ryan warned that the nation’s debt levels are on an unsustainable and the nation needs to take action today to restrain the rate of growth of entitlements to avoid becoming like Greece, which he said require serious discuss.

“Well, we have exhausted the other possibilities. After four straight trillion-dollar deficits, and very little economic progress to show for it, I think we know what doesn’t work,” Ryan said. “We also have a growing consensus around the ideas that will work. But we lack willing partners at the highest levels to lead us, to unite us, and to address our defining challenge.”

But liberal Catholics are not buying it. Approximately 30 Georgetown students and others connected with the liberal group Catholics United picketed outside of the speech accusing the chairman of trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us [as Catholics] because so much of American politics has divided us on every issue except probably this one,” said Taylor Reese, a student protester.

Reese went on to insinuate that Catholics were united along the lines of “traditional leftist” causes of “helping the poor”.

Asked whether he felt that $15 to $20 trillion worth of added debt was worth the price of keeping social spending at current elevated levels, Reese deflected saying he was acting out of “obedience to the Roman Catholic Church.”

Catholics United spokesman Chris Pumpelly told  Red Alert Politics that his group and other liberal Catholics wanted to send the message that the Catholics faith should not be “used as a weapon against the poor.”

“If you are going to speak as a person of faith, you are not going to use it to punish the poor,” Pumpelly said.

Other student demonstrators slammed Ryan’s tax cut proposals and the absence of a discussion of defense spending in his address.

“Why is Rep. Ryan proposing to cut income taxes for the top 1 percent, those in the top income bracket from 35 percent to 25 percent and he’s not making any cuts in defense?” a student protester asked.

The protester then dismissed Red Alert Politics’ question asking how a nation could tax itself to prosperity  as “ridiculous” saying that the top tax bracket had been 91 percent in the 1950s, implying that those tax rates were not a hindrance to economic growth.

However, Ryan spokesman Kevin Seifert said the protesters are misinformed, noting that the Budget Committee chairman has not proposed any real cuts in social spending, but rather has proposed reducing the rate of growth compared with the president’s budget and current law.

“They are attempting to put up a moral straw man,” Seifert said.

Ryan wants to make the programs that serve the poor more efficient and effective because the poor will be the first to be hurt in the event of a Greece-style debt crisis, according to Seifert.

The Ryan budget also would cut $78 billion in defense spending over the next decade in accordance with recommendations from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Comments

Polititainment

Jill Biden on Joe: "I fell in love with the boys first"

Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden didn't marry Vice President Joe Biden for his sense of humor -- instead, she "fell in love" with his two sons first.

Joe Biden's first Instagram photo

Ladies and gentlemen of this great nation, rejoice! Vice President Joe Biden has joined Instagram -- and his first post is everything you ever dreamed it would be.

Celebrate Tax Day with this ditty

What better way to celebrate curse Tax Day than with a little toe-tapping, finger-snapping ditty that perfectly describes how we all feel about the Internal Revenue Service?

Joy Behar roasts Chris Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) may need some ice for a few burns he sustained from former "The View" host Joy Behar, as the comedian delivered an awkward roast of the 2016 presidential hopeful.

Boehner tears up at Taco Bell event

It wasn't because of the salsa, or the deliciousness of a Cheesy Gordita Crunch or anything -- it was just for the kids.

White House

Obama: Republicans a threat to the right to vote

President Barack Obama slammed Republicans on Friday for supporting voter identification law and labeled the GOP as a threat to the right to vote.

Republicans renew fight against Obamacare as Sebelius resigns

FOX NEWS -- Republicans responded to news of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' resignation from the Obama administration on Thursday with fresh calls to repeal the president's health care law.

Read more at FOX News.

David Ortiz selfie with Obama could mean the end to WH selfies

Everyone loves taking a good selfie, even President Barack Obama. However, after Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped a pic with POTUS last week, selifes may be banned from the White House.

White House runs ‘victory lap’ after 7M ObamaCare sign-ups, Republicans renew repeal fight

FOX NEWS -- While continuing to face deep skepticism from Republicans, President Obama and his team ran a victory lap of sorts Tuesday after declaring that more than 7 million people signed up for health insurance on the ObamaCare exchanges before the midnight deadline.

Read more at FOX News.

White House: MLB opening day petition no home run

POLITICO -- The White House marked Major League Baseball’s opening day with an intentional pass — suggesting Monday that the Americans who have petitioned that the first day of the season become a national holiday take their requests to Congress.

Read more at POLITICO.

Congress

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.

House passes Ryan's budget plan

The House on Thursday passed a 10-year Republican spending plan drafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Read more at The Washington Examiner.

Harry Reid's Koch-fueled meltdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been in a Koch-fueled rage, seizing moments left and right (mostly from the left) to bash Charles and David Koch.