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Balance budget with wisdom

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Members of our congregation of women religious across this country minister every day to persons who seek emergency shelter, who turn to food pantries and soup kitchens, and who need job training to find work that pays a living wage. It is such programs that many legislators are talking about in their proposals to reduce the federal deficit and debt. Yet non-defense discretionary spending, which includes these vital human services, represents just 19 percent of the budget. As a Sister of Mercy, I urge our members of Congress to find the political will to invest in job creation and to protect persons who are poor and vulnerable. Most economic experts say that tax increases need to be considered for any real long-term debt reduction. Foreign policy and national security experts point out multiple ways in which the Pentagon budget could be cut more deeply without any harm to our security. We need to urge our legislators to take a balanced approach to building a budget in local job creation, by harnessing the passion and energies of wealthy individuals and corporations in a creative dynamic process. Please call your Congressional representative today. Let them know they must pass a budget that helps struggling individuals and families. MARGARET ANN WALSH, R.S.M., Auburn