Friday, April 29, 2005

Bugged By The Government 

earwig Was the earwig as nauseating last night as I feared he would be? This graphic over at uggabugga seems to sum up the gist and subtext of his comments on Social Security--that by turning it into a program of welfare for old people, the cons can kill public support for a program they wanted to end anyway, and that this is the first nail in that coffin. And then there was that bizarre pissing contest between him and Donald Trump that resulted in his being foisted on the public retina a half hour earlier than expected. Upon first sight of His Smugness, we immediately hauled out a DVD of O Brother Where Art Thou? and proceeded to laugh the nation's troubles away.

I am going to be able to post only sporadically through Monday due to visiting family and friends, so I apologize in advance for not being able to be consistent. Part of my solution will be to drag up some posts from my own archives that are relevant to today's news and the current corrente dialogues, and that hopefully you, dear readers, have never seen. In light of the just-passed Congressional budget (the first in 2 years), which promises to be just as horrible as we've all been predicting, I'm posting this, from my blogpost of November 20, 2004:

More than 12 million U.S. families went hungry or had to utilize food aid agencies of some kind to avoid starving last year. That’s about 13 million children. I realize that the Bush admin may consider it a sign of slackerism on the part of the Republican-controlled Congress that the number of hungry in the country only rose by .1% between 2002 and 2003, which probably explains why Bush has proposed reduction of $122 million for the WIC program.

It's hard work, making up a budget that hangs on to the big giveaways for your buddies while cleverly masking cruelty and slashing programs for the needy, but Bush and his junta told you they were up to it. Now Congress is poised to pass a budget that enshrines Bush’s attack on overtime for workers, cracks the federal worker’s union by privatizing some federal jobs, pulls Iraq reconstruction funds away from that country to send to Sudan, and drops milk subsidies for small dairy farmers because the states with Big Dairy agribusiness objected to them. This should help reduce the deficit and America’s dependence on government handouts, right? Even better, Bush’s 2006 budget proposes further cuts, like $1.5 billion from education, $900 million from veterans’ health care, and $170 million from child care and Head Start.

Speaking of the deficit, stocks fell because Greenspan told the truth to some foreign financial leaders. Interest rates will rise and foreign investment will drop because our budget deficit is too big, and maybe a nice recession will be in order to slow it down. Hmmm. Who knew? Certainly not the magnificent Bush economic team. Maybe not even Greenspan himself when he was so blithely encouraging Bush’s irresponsible fantasy-ridden fiscal adventures (like the Iraq war) of the last 4 years, here, here, and here, and here.

I'll be back when I can. Enjoy your day.

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