Monday, October 31, 2005

Sticking it to the Poor

An October 29 AP story which appeared in our local news paper The Daily Progress describes budget cuts approved by the Republican –controlled House Agriculture Committee. These draconian cuts would take food stamps from 300,000 people and could cut school lunches and breakfasts for 40,000 children.

This action came at the same time the government was reporting that the number of people who can’t afford to buy enough food rose to 38.2 million in 2004, an increase of 7 million in the last five years. The number represents almost 12 percent of U.S households.

These cuts, approved on a party line vote, are part of an effort to curb federal spending on the backs of the poor by $50 billion. The food and agriculture cuts would reduce spending by $3.7 billion, including $844 million on nutrition, $760 million on conservation and $212 on payments to farmers.

Tax cuts approved by this administration gave massive gifts to the upper ten percent of the U.S. taxpayers. These giveaways to the wealthy, or as “W” once called them” his base the haves and the have mores,” would have been more than enough to fund the additional expenditures due to the recent hurricanes. True to form, however, the Republicans would rather continue to stick it to the poor and the helpless and compound their misery by cutting the very programs which would help the hurricane victims.

Liberals on the other hand would have been guided by their principles of true compassion and concern for those who can least help themselves. If liberals were in control, those tax cuts to the wealthy would never have been enacted. Liberals would not have led us into a war on a tissue of lies. A war which, in addition to costing precious lives, is costing us taxpayers billions of dollars each day. Without the war and without the hand outs to the rich we would have a surplus from which we could fund programs to help the poor and disenfranchised pull themselves up to the middle class. Instead we have a situation where the poor get poorer and the middle class is rapidly disappearing- for this we can thank those compassionate conservatives. O hell let them eat cake!

David Goldberg