Saturday, August 18, 2012

The "thieving" Catholic Church in America

We have to admit that the term "thieving" was our term and not used by the Economist Magazine, whose findings we reprint below.But the supporters of this blog believe that we should launch a campaign to end the free ride that religious institutions get by not paying taxes.  They own most of the land in the US and many other countries and they are actively involved in politics so they should all pay taxes. It is not public sector workers that are a drain on the US economy, but the1% and their control of the economy and the allocation of capital. But the wealth of organized religion is also a huge drain on society.

The Catholic church in America

Aug 16th 2012, 15:10 by M.V. | NEW YORK
Economist Magazine

How we calculated the size of the church in the United States
RELIGIOUS institutions in America are not required to report income or spending. In the absence of co-ordination among local and national church organisations and their subsequent co-operation with The Economist, we attempted to estimate the total economic heft of the Catholic church in America by constructing a national operating budget. Here is a back-of-the-envelope calculation.
The $170 billion total was derived by adding together the following:
  • Health care: $98.6 billion was reportedly spent by members of the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
  • Education: publicly available operating budgets for the 244 Catholic colleges and universities (for those whose budgets where unavailable or out-of-date or had closed, we drew up estimates based on those of comparable institutions) add up to $48.8 billion
  • Parish disbursements: we calculated a national estimate by grossing up incomplete numbers provided by the Center for the Applied Research on the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Total: $11 billion.
  • Charities: we used the total annual budget of Catholic Charities USA, which includes all of its local subsidiaries (but not other local charities) and amounts to $4.7 billion.
  • Other: we added together the annual budgets of national religious organisations that are under the direction of the Catholic church at some level or for which being Catholic is a requirement of membership, such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Knights of Columbus, the arms of various religious orders in America (eg, Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans), Opus Dei, Regnum Christi and the Papal Foundation. Together this comes to $8.5 billion.

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