Friday, February 03, 2006

214-216



This is a new America; one resemblance of place Adous Huxley or George Orwell ruminated. On Wednesday, February 1, the House of Representatives voted to send President Bush legislation that would cut spending on federal benefit programs about $39 billion over the next five years. Ironically, it was signed right after his State of the Union address. The Budget Reconciliation Bill passed just barely, by a vote of 216 — 214.

The bill has cuts in it for Medicaid, child support enforcement, and student loans programs. From its language, it is not a wonder why many feel Bush is anti-minority as well as anti-American. By slowing the growth of such programs that have traditionally served as a net for the working poor, it may result in lower wages for many single parent households and reduce the number of individuals trying to improve their social standing by going to college or trade schools. Any one that desires to go after a student loan now will have limited fiscal resources with the proposed $11.9 billion in cuts to the student loan program, not withstanding the supplement of higher interest rates on such loans.

In addition, folks that receive Medicaid will now have to pay higher co-payments and deductibles, on prescription drugs and emergency room visits for non-emergency care. Some folks made out like bandits. Rich dairy farmers get a $1 billion income subsidy program physicians get support the loss income from cuts in Medicare fees. Then there is the House version of that bill would broaden tax cuts for capital gains and dividends for the wealthy.


I don’t know what will be next on the Horizon, but it is evident that things for the poor, minorities, women, children and the elderly are getting worse while the friends of the politicians are lounging. 216 to 214, talk about popular support.

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