Sunday, February 06, 2005

Bush's Budget Leaves Seniors Cold

In December we pointed out the Bush administration's immoral decision to cut college financial aid to the poor. But Bush rightly points out that we face a budget crisis. Since December, we've offered alternatives to fix this budget crisis in a Christian way: rolling back the tax cuts for the wealthy and means testing social security are just a few options.

Bush's state of the union address suggested general benefits cuts for social security to go along with his new private accounts. His new budget proposal continues his move in the wrong direction. Among other things, Bush's budget contemplates "slashing grants to local law enforcement agencies and cutting spending for environmental protection, American Indian schools and home-heating aid for the poor...." (AP)

The cuts to the home heating program are of special concern. This program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), provides grants to state and local governments which help them provide emergecy assistance to the poor, usually seniors, for heating needs. As anyone who has lived in the Northeast knows for certain, home heating may be a matter, not just of comfort, but of life and death.

State and local governments have neither the literal nor political capital to deal with assistance to the poor on their own. The federal government must be deeply involved in providing the social safety net. The fact that we are already contemplating cuts to programs that provide critical, emergecy aid to the poor shows just how far from the Christian ideal our government has fallen.


At 4:32 PM, Blogger DLW said...

There are innumerable ways to deal with the budget problems.

I think what is key, though, is to confront fiscal fundamentalism wherein tax-increases are portrayed as inherently wrong without need for attention to their likely effects.

If we adopted measures like the use of randomization to test the likely wealth-creating/stultifying effects of changes in the tax-code then we could more objectively assess the pros and cons of a given tax-increase or cut.

I believe Carl Levin of Michigan proposed something like this, can't find a link on it right now, though.

ps, I got an email today from Tim Penny who ran as the MN Independent party candidate for gov'r in 2002. He is still considering running again. If he does, there is a good chance he may borrow some of my ideas for reducing the faith-based political acrimony stemming from the cultural wars.

I think this would be both a good thing and something that would help further my career some. I'm lifting Tim Penny up in prayer that God's will will be done regardless of his final decision. I hope you can join me. I'm a strong believer that we need to support third-parties more, since innovations tend to come more from third-parties than the main two parties.


At 8:03 PM, Blogger jj said...

Congratulations! You will both be in our thoughts and prayers.


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