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Clergy Want More Federal Help For Needy

Columbus area religious leaders joined 4,000 other clergy people in signing a letter that calls for an end to federal budget cuts affecting those in need. The letter was published today in Politico as debate continues over raising the federal debt ceiling. Pastor of Vineyard Church in Columbus, Rich Nathan, who signed the letter, said he sees the growing need in his community. More families are using his church's food pantry services and more young people at risk are taking part in after-school programs. "Don't balance the budget on the backs of the poor. There are other places to cut, and other places to raise revenue," Nathan said. Nathan said too much of the federal budget is spent on the military. Head of the Portage County Ohio Tea Party, Tom Zawistowski, spoke today on "All Sides with Ann Fisher." He said he's opposed to raising the debt ceiling and blames lawmakers for the situation. "The problem we have with our federal government unlike the states, which have to balance their budget, is that they just keep avoiding the problem. And so you get worse and worse," Zawistowski said. Zawistowski said tax loopholes should be closed and the age of retirement for social security benefits raised to help reduce the budget deficit.