Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

First Things editor raps Wall Street Journal editorial on child tax credits

Catholic World News - January 17, 2012

A Wall Street Journal editorial on January 9 derided presidential candidate Rich Santorum for his suggestion that the federal government should triple the tax credit for children. “This is social policy masquerading as economics,” the Journal argued, saying that the policy would not encourage economic growth. A larger tax credit for children, the editorial said, is “a hobby horse of the Christian right.”

R.R. Reno, the editor of First Things, offers a strong response. He reminds the Journal editors: “The entire tax code reflects a tacit social policy—or more accurately a hodgepodge of social policies.” The Journal editorial, he says, reflects the libertarian belief that all of life’s important affairs can be reduced to economic terms. So while the newspaper regularly applauds tax policies that are designed to encourage savings and investment, it ridicules a policy designed to help strengthen families.

Because their ideology makes them unable to recognize the goods that ordinary Americans desire, Reno argues, libertarians are unlikely to win their political arguments: We want to live in accord with our nature as human beings, and that includes contributing to and enjoying the primitive community of the family. If free market libertarians can’t get their minds around that fact—and the fact that as we make personal choices about marriage and children we’re influenced by a manifold of social and economic incentives—then I can’t see how they will be able to formulate a governing consensus.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($22,074 to go):
$35,000.00 $12,926.44
63% 37%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action 18 hours ago
As Catholic News Unfolds... August 19
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West August 19
The cause for beatification of Archbishop Romero: BBC botched the story August 19
Church Fathers: The Didache and the Epistle of Barnabas August 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8