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How Catholic Teaching on Life Can improve the U.S. Economy
"It's the economy stupid," offered a 90's politician. The phrase, political pundits say, set Bill Clinton on his way to the American presidency.
Like or dislike the former President, the state of the economy during a presidential term can make or break re-election prospects for a sitting President. Such would be the case for George H. W. Bush. (who lost re-election to Bill Clinton) and may well be the case for current President, Barack Obama.
In the case of our current President, as irony would have it, Karna Swanson, of the Zenit Catholic news agency, reported in 2008 Senator Barack Obama had come away with “54% of the Catholic vote” because Catholics "...echoed the concerns of the rest of the electorate in citing the economy as their top issue,”
Hence, former President Bill Clinton seems correct in his assessment. For if even Catholics are willing to dispense with church teaching for the mere prospect of personal gain by electing, what some consider to be, the most radical pro-abortion politician in history, then indeed, it must be "the economy stupid."
However, stupid is as stupid does. And as the last three years have shown, 54% of the Catholic vote to pro-abortion, Barack Obama may not have been the better choice for the American economy.
From tax cuts to tax increases, the argument rages. But just what is the answer for fixing the American economy? As a loyal Catholic, I must personally respond the answer is, life! Or more to the point, a greater abundance of people.
One may ask, what does life (more people) have to do with the economy? And the answer is simply this: Everything.
Let us take the issue of illegal immigration for example. On the issue, President Barack Obama recently stated: "Immigration reform is an economic imperative."
Former President, George W. Bush, on the matter stated: "We hear claims that [illegal] immigrants are somehow bad for the economy, even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction, toward a stagnant and second-rate economy."
Fellow politicians, on either side of the isle have expressed similar sentiments on the issue of illegal immigration as it relates to the American economy. From the late Senator, Ted Kennedy to former presidential candidate, John McCain.
Yet, why are illegal immigrants ”imperative" to the state of the economy? Why would ignoring the illegal immigration issue lead to a "stagnant and second-rate economy?"
The answer to these questions is one and the same: more people (the antithesis of abortion).
In a 2006 CNN Money report for instance, economist Andrew Sum stated: “Without the [illegal] immigrants, we would have a decline in the labor force of 3 to 4 percent…we couldn’t have grown nearly as much as we did in the 90s if we didn’t have [illegal] immigrants. And in the last few years our growth would have been slower."
Even the ACLU has chimed in concerning the matter. In a 2002 report on illegal immigration the liberal organization stated: “They [illegal immigrants]…spending their incomes on American goods and services, paying taxes and raising the productivity of U.S. businesses…are good for the economy.”
Thus, there is an array of differing political agents who seem to agree on one undeniable fact: life (more people) is good for the economy. And there appears to be considerable evidence to substantiate the claim.
Let us consider the following: According to Physicians for Life, since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, “50 million potential [people] have been aborted” in the United States.
Assuming all of these people would have lived, “their [positive] economic impact in the year 2008 would have been roughly $2,162,842,500,000.” As a side note, this figure is arrived at when using the dollar value for the year 1984.
Using that same dollar value, Physicians for Life project that if “approximately 20% of [that] income [were] absorbed by Federal taxes of one sort or another, these [absentee] taxpayers would have generated $116 billion in [the] year 2010 alone.”
Physicians for Life further deduced:
“Of this $2.16 trillion in additional national income, hundreds of billions would have gone to the Federal Treasury that year .”
Perhaps this is why USA Today speculates, “If only one third of those who have been aborted were available to start working on their 18th birthday, the demise of Social Security would be put off for decades.”
Laura Antkowiak, National Right to Life Research Assistant detailed abortion’s economic deficit thusly:
“In 1998 alone, the victims of Roe v. Wade would have contributed approximately $1.7 billion to Medicare and $7.4 billion to Social Security. These contributions could provide the average monthly benefit to over 785,000 retired workers for the entire year.”
Antkowiak further elucidated:
“Given the reduction in the work force...brought on largely because of abortion, our predicament is this: unless we raise taxes, cut benefits, or overhaul the entire system, Medicare will be bankrupt in the 2020s and Social Security in the 2030s.”
Basing figures on yearly GDP per capita, Demographic Researcher and investigative reporter, Dennis Howard, according to, News Weekly, places America’s total economic deficit due to surgical abortions at a staggering $35 trillion. Howard’s figure, however, extends beyond the Roe decision to the year 1970.
Even so, Howard’s astronomical tally is a conservative computation by EPA standards. Which according to LIFENEWS.com, places a $7.8 million value on every human life.
Using such a standard, Howard’s calculations would stretch far beyond $35 trillion and surpass the “$390 trillion” mark, according to News Weekly.
Yes, "it is the economy stupid." However, as a loyal Catholic who stands with the Church, I must emphatically add, it is the sanctity of life, stupid!
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