Enough for Everyone

Introduction:

As people of faith, we are called to advocate and speak out in matters that affect the well-being of the most vulnerable members of our communities -working together toward the abundant life that Christ has promised all of God's children.  Because we are members of the Body of Christ through our baptisms and because we are affiliated as members of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), there is strength as we join others in this call to advocacy.  In faithful response to God's love, the five ELCA synods of our state, including the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, engage people of faith in the ministry of advocacy for policies that support peace, justice and care for all of God's creation through the Lutheran Office of Public Policy Wisconsin (LOPPW).  As citizens, many of us are troubled by our current state budget recommendations, as the severe cuts will deeply affect many vulnerable citizens of Wisconsin.  The following is a press release from the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin. - Rev. Amy Odgren

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Wisconsin's hope to fill deep holes in the proposed state budget with tax revenue was struck down this week. The new estimates reveal that tax revenues will be no higher than originally anticipated.

Does the news deepen a harsh reality that we do not have enough to bolster our needed Safety Net Programs, care for God's creation, and protect our children's education? Or does the announcement lead us to further scrutinize the choices presented in Wisconsin's moral document, the state budget? The Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW) is confident that there are better choices.

LOPPW is is one of several groups that signed on to the Better Choices Budget developed by Jon Peacock, Research Director, and Tamerine Cornelius, Research Analyst at the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. The budget offers examples of revenue sources we could access without raising taxes:

 

  • "Saving an estimated $345 million by expanding access to BadgerCare for adults with low incomes, which would qualify Wisconsin for a much larger share of federal Medicaid funding;
  • Freeing up $226 million by capping a new corporate tax break that is now expected to cost more than twice the amount originally anticipated; and
  • Halting the expansion of a property tax credit that does little to help most Wisconsinites."

 

Bishop Mary Froiland of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin (ELCA) values working from a model of abundance. She said, "The gift of this alternative budget is that it discredits the myth of scarcity. This may not be the budget that is ultimately adopted, but it does show us that there are alternatives to Governor Walker's proposed budget with its drastic cuts to significant services. I hope we can work together to create strong communities and a strong state without further harming those who are the most vulnerable among us."

There is enough for everyone.

Rev. Cindy Crane, Director

Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW)