Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Immoral Budget

I was glad to see this from Nancy Pelosi's office:

"Speaker Hastert and Congressional Republicans are desperately trying to distract the American people from their culture of corruption and cronyism. The real problem with the Republicans' immoral and financially irresponsible budget is that it does nothing to address the concerns of hard-working Americans; instead it gives tax breaks to Republican cronies.

"Republicans have squandered the largest budget surplus in American history and continue to put forth fiscally irresponsible budgets. Their latest proposal would actually increase the deficit by $20 billion dollars, increase tax cuts for their cronies, and cut critical programs used by Hurricane Katrina and Rita survivors.

"Republicans need to get serious about the budget; it is a statement of values as a nation. Republicans refused to join Democrats in supporting pay-as-you-go budgeting to share the sacrifices that must be made. It is unacceptable for Republicans to cut taxes for their cronies, paid for on the backs of the middle-class, working Americans.

"Together, America can do better. Democrats will continue to stand with Katrina and Rita survivors, veterans, students, and working families struggling to pay for gas and home heating oil, medical care, and other basic needs."

I've said for quite some time that if Democrats explain to the country the values they stand for, then they will grow their coalition and win some elections. This has to involve contrasting between the two political parties. Luckily the voting record of the House Republicans make it quite clear who is working on behalf the middle class and poverty-stricken members of our society.

Pelosi's statement highlights the atrocity committed in April when budgetary bills were being circulated. From a Booman diary I submitted:

Immoral. This budget is yet another example of the poor reaping the consequences of the rich's decision-making. The Democrats were united against the budget because it cut Medicaid benefits.

Details (with updated vote line-up) below ...

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said it was a first step toward confronting the "massive problem" of meeting the nation's defense and domestic spending needs while coping with relentlessly rising baby boomer health and retirement costs. "The president sent us a budget which for the first time in seven years stepped on the sacred ground of trying to address the entitlement costs of the federal budget," he said.

It was the effort to control spending on the Medicaid health program for the poor -- one of the three big entitlement programs, along with Medicare and Social Security -- that created the biggest obstacle to agreement on the budget. Medicaid was last cut in 1997.

Democrats and some Republicans, led by Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon, objected that cuts in projected spending for Medicaid would impose a hardship on states that rely heavily on federal grants to care for the poor.

The vote was 214-211 in the House and 52-47 in the Senate

Update [2005-4-29 9:2:15 by Man Eegee]:

The Senate vote tally can be found here No Democrats voted in favor of the budget.

The House of Representatives vote tally can be found here. No Democrats voted in favor of the budget.
Makes you wonder where the priorities lie for the "Religious Right" that have become rabid Republicans. I was always taught that as a Christian we are obligated to help ease the burden on the poor, not pile it on and spit in their face.

Perhaps if the Dems keep raising the volume on their social justice messaging they will start winning back the hearts of conscientious Americans.

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