2011/02/09

Republicans substantiate talk about cutting budget

The National Journal shows in great detail just how the Republican-majority 112th 2011-2012 Congress plans to spend less of the taxpayer's money. Some of the proposed cuts show just how Congress sees cutting the budget as being a strictly one-way street. To Republicans, a cut is a cut is a cut. But it's hard to see how cutting Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by $899 million is going to benefit the country. In fact, that sounds to me like the very definition of “false economy.” If one is spending less on “energy efficiency,” then wouldn't one be spending more on energy? Wouldn't spending on efficiency be a better use of dollars than spending on non-renewable fossil fuels? And cutting Fossil Energy Research by $31 million along with Clean Coal Technology by $18 million? I dunno where anybody got the hare-brained notion that cutting spending was a priority that took precedence over the most simple, basic, common-sensical ways to actually benefit the country and make our energy dollars stretch further.

They want to cut State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance by $256 million. Gee, now there's a grand idea! Camden, NJ, has “the second worst crime rate of an American city, but also they're $26.5 million in the red.”

The mayor of crime-ridden Camden, New Jersey, has announced layoffs of nearly half of the city's police force and close to a third of its fire department.
One hundred sixty-eight police officers and 67 firefighters were laid off Tuesday, as officials struggle to close a $26.5 million budget gap through a series of belt-tightening measures, Mayor Dana Redd told reporters.

Gee, cutting assistance to local law enforcement when local law enforcement is already cutting back is such an awesome, swell idea! I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Legal Services Corporation to be cut by $75 million, the Food Safety and Inspection Services by $53 million (For the FY10 budget) and the EPA by $1.6 billion. These are all easily predictable cuts for a Republican Congress to make as they are, after all, Republicans. Therefore, these are pro-rich and pro-business actions that rescue businesspeople against anything that might reduce their profits.



Job Training Programs take a $2 billion whack. High Speed Rail gets hit for $1 billion, the FAA Next Gen gets sliced by $234 million and Amtrak takes a hit of $224 million. Again, these strike me as false economies. How are ya gonna run an economy effectively when people can't get training? When we're already falling behind Europe and Japan in high-speed rail travel? Do we really want America to remain as dependent on air travel as it is when we're also so worried about security on flights that “porno scanners” (Which are not difficult to defeat) and body groping are issues that have caused all sorts of hate and discontent with air travelers?

Now, these cuts, Community Health Centers by $1.3 billion, Maternal and Child Health Block Grants $210 million, Family Planning by $327 million, Poison Control Centers by $27 million, Center for Disease Control $755 million, National Institute for Health by $1 billion and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services by $96 million, strike me as especially obtuse and counter-productive. The 112th Congress is especially and energetically against abortion rights. In theory, Republicans argue, they're not anti-women, they're just against “killing babies.” But by cutting the budget for poison control, they are killing babies! Obviously, old people may have problems with poisons, but it's especially the very young that are most likely to end up accidentally getting poison in their bodies. How on Earth is it “pro-baby” to cut poison control? Cutting the budget for maternal health is “pro-baby”?!?!!? Huh? As Daily Kos puts it:

...with these cuts, we once again see that those strong feelings Republicans' profess to have for life stops at the delivery room door ... assuming you can afford to go to the hospital, of course.

Pandagon has a typically cuts-to-the-bone comment on abortion as seen by the involved man and woman:

Because there are just a lot of men out there who really need to believe they made the baby by having an orgasm, and that no one should credit the person who gained weight, contributed a quarter of her daily nutrients for 9 months, threw up a lot, saw her feet change size, and then pushed an 8 pound human out of her genitals while suffering massive pain. Because if you admit that bitches can pull that stunt off, you might have to admit that they’re good at other things, too. 

Pandagon also has some worthwhile commentary on Lila Rose and her video “sting” of Planned Parenthood (That didn't sting very much as it didn't actually reveal any illegal conduct, though they did snag an idiot employee who “coached them to lie about the age of the girls’ sex partners.”).

Make no mistake: Lila Rose is out to make sure that low income and young women are deprived access to decent health care, including and especially contraception and cancer screening, both of which are the majority of Planned Parenthood’s work.

And when you remember that Lila Rose is getting all sorts of support from both elected Republicans and Fox News, it becomes pretty clear where they stand in regards to women's health.

And in their final wrap-up, we see that:

As things now stand, the budget deficit will be $1.500 trillion for this fiscal year. If the GOP has their way, it will be $1.477 trillion. That's a cut of merely 1.5% . Despite everything the GOP is going after, our budget deficit will be 98.5% of what it would have been otherwise -- virtually unchanged. In other words, the only thing they didn't slash was the budget deficit.

Bottom line is that cutting the budget to get a smaller, leaner government is a grand idea in theory. In actual fact, when the rubber hits the road and real, actual, on the ground decisions are called for, it's an awful idea.

1 comment:

Caty Karther said...

Legal Services Corporation to be cut by $75 million, the Food Safety and Inspection Services by $53 million (For the FY10 budget) and the EPA by $1.6 billion. These are all easily predictable cuts for a Republican Congress to make as they are, after all, Republicans.