Sunday, March 19, 2006

Say What?


What evidence can Matthew Moench cite to support his praise for Mike Ferguson and the Republican Party for cutting taxes and the federal budget?

President Bush has yet to veto a single spending bill brought before him, and the federal budget has ballooned. http://thinkprogress.org/2006/03/06/bush-spending-bills/ As of October 2005, one group of researchers using OMB reports found that under Bush, total discretionary spending has gone up 35.8%, non-defense discretionary spending was up 27.9%, and defense spending was up a whopping 44.5%. http://www.reason.com/links/links101905.shtml .

The Republicans are good at cutting programs that feed hungry senior citizens, like the $110 million per year Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which will kick out about 420,000 low-income elderly people in FY2007. http://www.cbpp.org/2-6-06fa.htm They’re good at cutting federal funding for education, to the tune of $3.1 billion http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=136&languageId=1&contentId=86486

Yet somehow, the Republican Congress is able to dig deep and find $9 billion per month to blow up Iraqis, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aairaqwarcost.htm Somehow, they were able to raise the debt ceiling on our record-high federal deficit, wrought by a Republican president with a Republican Congress, so we wouldn’t default and go bankrupt as a nation. But that default is coming soon anyway, and that global economic crash will render all those vaunted dollars in the bank accounts of the tax-free wealthy worth less than nothing. You can't eat a bank statement, and it won't keep you warm in the winter.

If you really believe in small government, Mr. Moench, take a look at the facts and realize that Republicans aren’t representing your interests well at all. Your state and local taxes are skyrocketing because your federal government is burning money abroad, instead of investing it here. Kick the Republicans out, and elect some of the men and women running as progressive Democrats, committed to transforming that party from a bunch of flaccid, cowardly Republican-lite politicians, into a group that can, must and will enact legislation to rebuild America’s health care, education, farming, housing, public transit and clean energy programs. All of that will transform our economy into something sustainable and more just, so more working people – from nurses and firefighters to farmers, teachers and janitors – can make a decent living for themselves and their kids.

In that not-too-distant era, more people amassing obscene fortunes in capital gains and whining about their taxes might find the courage to be satisfied with a roof over their heads and enough food to eat. Maybe they’ll use the rest of their time and money to help others get the basics too.


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