Wednesday, November 2


Bush and the GOP leadership have an affinity for war. The one in Iraq isn't going well, so they've declared a new front in their war on terror: poor Americans. Poor people are frightening to well-dressed, well-fed Republicans -- they absorb federal revenues that could better be used to further enrich the richest of us. They're terrified that images of hungry children might stir voters to compassion and demands that the GOP Congressional majority actually use a few of the billions being wasted on Iraq on our own people. So they've decided to food stamp them out.

Indeed, this newfound concern for tight budgetary control seems more like an excuse to inflict pain on those who cannot defend themselves. Meanwhile, the urge to reward those who already have too much continues, unbounded by any fiscal worries.
Of course, these "compassionate conservatives" did not content themselves with cutting food stamps. They are also contemplating cutbacks in Medicaid, the health-insurance program that serves the poor, specifically targeting millions of low-income children for reduced services and co-payments. Kids living in poverty are going to be deprived of eyeglasses, hearing aids and other crucial care.

School lunches are also going to be cut for some of those little losers whose families need food stamps, incidentally. And kids who need child support will also be out of luck, because the powerful House Ways and Means Committee has determined to cut back enforcement efforts against deadbeat parents. The Republicans, who deem themselves "pro-family," are determined to squeeze a few more bucks from low-income foster families and student-loan recipients as well.

What these politicians will not consider, as they ponder legislation between fund-raising banquets and golf outings, is any measure that might demand sacrifice from those who can well afford it. That would be biting the hands of those who provide the payoffs, in campaign contributions and defense funds and all kinds of ethically dubious freebies. Believe it or not, they intend to give still more tax breaks and subsidies to the nation's wealthiest citizens and corporations.

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