Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bush's Budget

We live in a country where the vital social safety net programs that we've put in place help those most down on their luck and some, like me, hope that we could help more. We live in an world where we are taught to take care of each other. We live under the auspices of World Religions that preach the unconditional love of your fellow man.

But today, we also live in George Bush's America. In this dark place come fears that the poor might get too much and the rich might have to sacrifice a little. In this hell, money is merely an imaginary tool, used to keep wealth in the hands of the very few. We live in a time where the economy is closing factories and shipping jobs out of the country as fast as you can say, "Bob's your Uncle." We live in a time where all of the social programs we've set in place to make sure that the poor don't starve and the elderly don't get sick are at risk because the rich don't care.

From the Washington Post:

Although the budget's overall shape traces the patterns Bush has drawn in past years, it contains one major new theme: curtailing expensive entitlement programs that provide a safety net for the poor, the elderly and the disabled. In his written message to Congress on the first page of the budget, the president calls those costs "unsustainable" and says they represent "in the long term, the biggest challenge to our nation's fiscal health."

I counter-propose that the biggest challenge to our nation's fiscal health is the War in Iraq (not to be confused with the War on Terror. Rep. John M. Spratt Jr. (S.C.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said: "A budget is a statement of moral choices, and this budget makes the wrong choices." Increased is spending on war-making programs and materials, decreased are the programs to keep us healthy and fed.

On top of this budget (which purports to create a $423 Billion deficit) considerations haven't been made for the extra $120 billion that the administration has asked for, once again, to cover the costs of war in Iraq and rebuilding efforts in New Orleans.

Add to that Bush's refusal to let go of his ill-advised tax-cuts and we have a major financial crisis looming over our heads. His tax-cuts, his war and his budget cuts just can't work together.

I think one of the other major considerations people aren't taking into account is that there are people who can't survive without these social safety net programs. If Bush starts axing people from them, it will be left up to the states to deal with. Some states can't take care of themselves as it is, imagine what will happen when they receive an extra burden because George Bush is morally bankrupt. Sadly, the only by-product of his moral bankruptcy is the financial bankruptcy of this nation.


Aaron said...

We need to prepare for the Baby Boomers and start cutting back on government spending. I think Bush’s budget did not go far enough in trimming government coffers.

In about 10 - 15 years, there will be no way that we can afford to pay for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

We could radically increase taxes. However, this will cripple future generations. We can increase the budget deficit. But it will lead to serious systemic risks to our economy. We should reduce benefits promised during a previous era of prosperity in our country. Of course, we can try a combination of all three, but we would be left with a situation akin to eurosclerosis.

We must make the painful choice of reducing benefits and reshaping Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to care for the very neediest in our country. It will be hard, but the demographic trend is inexorable.

Reality shouts that this is not a Republican or Democrat issue.

Bryan said...

Reality shouts that we still need these programs. Reality shouts that the tax cuts aren't helping anyone but the filthy rich. Reality shouts that we spend billions of dollars on corporate welfare for no reason other than to appease corporations. Reality shouts that we should tax the stock market.

We can keep these programs viable. It is our duty to.

There are ways to do it.