Friday, February 11, 2005

Bush's Budget

A lot of the Bush budget proposal criticism I've seen comes from either Republican or right-leaning Democrat sources, who say that Bush hasn't cut enough federal spending to keep his promise of cutting the deficit in half by 2009. These critics say, rightly, that any cuts he's proposing are eaten up by increases in spending for the Pentagon. They point out that he isn't even including a budget for Iraq and Afghanistan. They point out that congress isn't going to cut the spending bill down, they're going to want to add things back in. All of this is true.

But there are some vicious cuts in this budget. I dicuss this on tomorrow's edition of Forbes on Fox (Fox News Channel, 11 am EST) but here's a more put together take, free from the panel discussion format: he's cutting $200 million from the federal program that helps poor families pay for heating oil, right at the time when oil prices have hit record levels. It's like Bush has forgotten that there are working families out there who have to sometimes choose between food, medicine, clothing and heat.

He's also cutting the food stamp's program by $1 billion over five years. Food stamps! We're talking about food that feeds people who can't afford food here! Food is, I read somewhere, necessary because without it, people can starve and die. Do I need to find link to back that up? What's wrong with this administration?

Of course, I expect the nation's senators and congresspeople to fight tooth and nail for every farm subsidy and bit of pork they can muster. I don't even blame them for it.

But, will anybody fight for food stamps? For heating fuel assistance programs? Poor people don't vote, they don't donate and they don't get much of a voice in the media. State governors, who will have to deal with pneumonia stricken children next winter, or a visibly hungry working poor population will naturally care. But will the federal reps?

I haven't seen any outrage about this. And what I posted before, about Bush telling a citizen that her having to work three jobs was "fantastic" and "uniquely American" -- that was true, but it hasn't gotten much play either. Go type "Mary Mornin" into Google news and look at the lack of coverage. If Clinton had made a gaffe like that, it would be everywhere right now. But what I fear this all means is that the media and the population at large have accepted Bush's vision for the "You're On Your Ownership Society." But I don't think anyone's really thought through the implications of the country trending towards less compassion.


At 2:13 PM , Blogger adriana said...

dude, i really hope you were the one who just coined that phrase "You're On Your Ownership Society" because that is the shizzle.


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