beating a dead horse

I don't want to overstress the disconnect between rhetoric and policy at the White House...or all of D.C., for that matter. However, I feel led to post this blurb from a longer article. This wouldn't be such a big deal for me if it weren't for two things: (1) People listen and believe what comes out of the mouths of people who speak for the executive branch (including the president); and (2) Many Christians--some close friends of mine--aware that there are some unsavory things about Mr. Bush stress that he is better than the alternative. I'm not certain what alternative they mean. But I do know that they believe that the Republican party in general, and President Bush, Jr. in particular, is all that is standing between us and rampant: on demand abortion, gay marriage, "terrorism", "communism", and moral degredation. Read this article. Then assure me that we actually are being saved from these things or from what I think are much worse things: abortion for the wealthy, the greed and "ethicslessness" of multi-national corporations, the breakdown of the family in pursuit of a modicum of financial security, the destruction of non-renewable environmental resources, the "selling out" of the church to politics, "consumerism", and moral degredation. ___________ In his State of the Union address last month, President Bush said, "Our greatness is not measured in power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another. So we strive to be a compassionate, decent, hopeful society," one that "comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency." He also pledged to "renew the defining moral commitments of this land." His fiscal year 2007 budget proposal, sent to Congress one week later, lacks the commitments needed to support this vision. Budgets are moral documents. They show us what we value in revealing where we invest now and for the future. Government funding is not the solution to all needs, but the budget process is a road map for how leaders plan to navigate our country's challenges and opportunities. The economic security of every family in this country is a moral opportunity and challenge. But our investment to strengthen families' opportunities - and hope - is being sacrificed for luxuries for a few. The president's 2007 budget cuts $183 billion from domestic programs - leaving homeland security untouched - during the next five years. It eliminates more than 100 programs. Many of the cuts are to services for the poor. Spending for homeland security, the military, and the war in Iraq amounts to nearly $600 billion, while domestic cuts are proposed in every other federal program. The budget makes the largest cut to federal education spending in a decade. Although President Bush proposed increased funding for math and science education, his signature education initiative, the No Child Left Behind Act, has a cumulative funding shortfall of $55 billion. More cuts to low-income child care services would result in 400,000 fewer children receiving assistance. Despite Congress deciding not to cut food stamps in the 2006 budget (reacting, in part, to pressure from the faith community), food stamps are slated for a cut that would eliminate support for 300,000 people. Medicaid is again on the chopping block with nearly $14 billion in cuts. The list goes on. These critical social supports hold families together and save lives. These cuts affect real people. There is a disconnect between basic needs and national priorities when more social cuts are proposed as poverty has risen in each of the past four years, according to the U.S. Census; food insecurity has risen in each of the last five, according to the Food Research and Action Center; and 9.2 million working families are on the brink of poverty, according to the Working Poor Families Project. Fiscal responsibility arguments hold no water because the 2007 budget would increase the deficit (as in 2006). A major culprit is the budget's $1.7 trillion (over 10 years) to permanently extend tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy. This sacrifices basic supports for the vulnerable to provide extravagances for the well-off. And it calls into question the validity of the administration's claims of steady deficit reduction over coming years.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


i read shelton's article. i think he is a practical writer and made his point well.

the problem i see here is that congress is responsible for passing what the executive branch gives it.

a radical idea has been thrown around the beltway for years that congress does not get paid until it balances a budget. not specifically the one the pres sends, and this could be a huge problem of tying up that branch of govt.

i see a problem of a policy called earmarking. this is where dollars go to a memebers local district without putting their name on the request.

citizens against governmetn waste say 13997 earmarks cost taxpayers 27.3 billion.

Rep. Tom Prince has introduced a sensible bill that amends House rules so that members who ask for earmarks will have to attach their names to the requests.

Across the way, Sen. John McCain has introduced the Pork-Barrel Reduction Act, which has a provision that also requires the identification of lawmakers who propose earmarks.

disclosure wont stop it, but porkbusters at truthlaidbare.com suggest earmarks are to be eliminated.

in my opinion, any administration needs to consider what it take in with revenue, then divide out what it wants to spend. this will show what is valued and what isnt. that way we could use our voting power to have proper representation.

as a side note, i think we need to evaluate what is important. since defecit spending typically results in higher growth of the gdp, do we want a growing economy or do we want to be fiscally responsible to the future generation.

my personal belief is that the war on terror needs to first identify its goals for "victory". if the goal is to eliminate terror from the world, it will fail miserably. if it wants to contain it so that us citizens are "safe", then it will go on until our government is no longer solvent.

sadly, we have yet to hear what is considered a victory on terror. i would prefer that we would have invested the time and money into building infrastructure, education and social networrking at home rather than developing us friendly regimes abroad.


2/16/2006 3:05 PM  

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