So here we are. A deal was struck that has averted the shutdown of this government for the first time since the Clinton years...
After weeks of scaring the elderly, the military in combat and their families who pay the bills back home, along with anyone else who depends on our government for their jobs and income, they have come up with a "Stop-Gap" measure. They say they need time to write the real bill that will not only cut $38.5 billion from the budget, but will also take out the riders that would de-fund Planned Parenthood and the Clean Air Act.
I sat and watched as President Obama talked of "winning the future," and the debate was not on the spending cuts but on the attached "riders" that dealt with abortion and clean air and had no real effect on the budget. What we have done is play "Kick the Can" with American lives again. The people in charge have let politics as usual take precedence over common sense cuts, while using language Tea-Party conservatives pressured them to include while trying to blackmail the liberal left into a "who blinks first" situation. A "short term bridge" says Democratic Senator Harry Reid, that will cut $2-billion dollars automatically until next Thursday, when another bill that itself will only last less than a year is put into law.
We then had Republican Senator Mitch McConnell talk of saving billions and raising the debt ceiling. It is true, this country is $14-trillion dollars in debt and pays $.30 of every dollar in interest. But we cannot continue to cut the budget on the backs of the poor while at the same time giving the rich tax cuts. It is Ronald Reagan's Trickle Down Theory in action, and we are all getting wet again.
Time after time, these people have used the "shiny object" defense in trying to pass this budget. These shiny objects being abortion, gay marriage, clean air and that old stand-by, the "death tax" -- the name given to the estate tax by far right conservatives like Karl Rove to give it more meaning for people whom it will never really affect.
If this country is to survive and prosper for the next generation of our children and their children, we have to have serious talks with serious people about serious cuts in this monumental budget that is dragging our down our lifestyle and raising the cost of living on everything from gas and groceries to simple things like paying the light bill. While we on the left did manage to have the five hundred riders the conservatives attached to the bill removed, we will still be cutting more than $38.5 billion on many programs that will kill entitlements for many of the poor and disenfranchised in this country. And we will do it all again with our usual, "Kick the Can" dollar diplomacy.
Our representatives again have punted on doing
something about the tremendous deficit that is hanging over this
country's head and affecting how we live. After scaring the people who
depend on the government to live for weeks, the best they can do is
come up with a Stop-Gap measure that will keep the government open until
Thursday -- when the real budget that itself lasts less than a year is
written into law.
We should all be ashamed..
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