Friday, April 08, 2011

Voodoo Economics

I'm furious. I'm livid. I've been lied to, flat out, to my face, by someone you would think you would be able to trust.

I took a look at some of the new budget proposal being leveraged by the Republican party this week. Independent analysis -- a simple AP news story -- said clearly that the proposal would do several things, among them get rid of the health care law and to privatize Medicare and turn it into "vouchers." Sounds suspicious to me, just on the surface.

So, I called my local congressional Representative's office -- James Lankford. Didn't get to talk with him (go figure), but I asked The Voice on the phone if Lankford supported the budget proposal. The Voice exuberantly answered in the affirmative, and told me that Lankford had been on the subcommittee that had approved the proposal to go to the full House. Hmmmph.

So, as calmly as I could (probably not all that much) I told The Voice that Lankford needed to reconsider. He asked why. I told him that this proposal would cripple a lot of people -- that we need medicare and the health care bill. The Voice informed me that the proposal did not touch Medicare.

That's a lie. "Hogwash" is the most polite term I can think of here. I can think of many terms more descriptive and therefore more accurate. He's lying. Don't take my word for it. Please. Don't. Check it out.

And check out this column in the NY Times (I know, that horribly "liberal" publication, yada yada yada) by Nobel Prize winner for economics, Paul Krugman.

Notice where he gets his numbers for analysis of the Republican budget proposal: from the Congressional Budget Office -- a non-partisan office. Where did they get their numbers? They were provided by the Republicans.

So, working with numbers provided by the Republicans who proposed the budget -- what did they come up with? Huge deficits. A bankrupt nation. It's nothing but tax cuts for the rich and reduction in spending on programs that help those who need help the most.

This budget proposal is sinful. It attempts to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the elderly. We are turning the nation of "give me your tired and your poor" into the nation of "I've got mine and I'll shoot the b------ who tries to take it from me!"

I'm sorry, but that's just not like Jesus. Wait -- I take that back. I'm not sorry for saying that.

He also lied to me about military spending. Somewhere between 48% and 54% of federal spending goes into the military. Just google for info.

But Lankford's phone Voice essentially told me I was crazy and I needed to check my figures, and that "entitlement programs" make up most of the federal budgets. Bull.

Of course, I told him he needed to check HIS figures. Had a great affect on him I'll tell you. What a snappy comeback.

Well, I've checked around a little more. There are a variety of estimates out there. But all of them demonstrate that the military is our biggest expenditure. And again, I would challenge any Christian to come up with logical support for that expense on Biblical/Christian grounds. It just can't be done. We're supposed to love our enemies. Period. For some odd reason I think that means "don't kill them."

But, even if Christians do support the military -- does it have to be so large? We are the only nation that has military bases outside of our own borders, and we have almost 800 military bases world-wide. We are an empire. A militaristic empire. If we say nothing else here, we must at least say that we could cut back a bit and then we'd have the money to take care of those in our society who are unable to completely take care of themselves.

But, the Republican budget proposal won't do that. It will take care of the wealthiest members of our society and cut out as much assistance to the lower strata as it can. It's the budget of "I've got mine!"

Parting shot, from the Washington Post (no "liberal" source this time!): the report of the words of Rajiv Shah, the administrator for the US Agency for International Development, before congress this week. Shah said:
We estimate, and I believe these are very conservative estimates, that H.R. 1 would lead to 70,000 kids dying. Of that 70,000, 30,000 would come from malaria control programs that would have to be scaled back, specifically. The other 40,000 is broken out as 24,000 who would die because of a lack of support for immunizations and other investments, and 16,000 would be because of the lack of skilled attendants at birth.
The Republican response came from Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.):

Nearly every administration witness appearing before the Appropriations Committee . . . has put forward nightmare scenarios and dire numbers to argue why we should not be reducing spending in any program. Republicans won't be drawn into a debate over what might happen based on speculations and hype.

So, there's your "compassionate conservatism" for you. Is that like Jesus? Really -- tell me. It is just this kind of thing that made me repent of voting Republican. Yes, I did -- I voted for Reagan. May God have mercy.


Brian said...

Wait, did you vote for Reagan the first term, second term or, ahem both terms?

Not that I'm judging. I voted for Bush II, but only for the first term.

Thanks for this information.

Beach Bum said...

But all of them demonstrate that the military is our biggest expenditure.

The budget does need to be balanced but not over the dead bodies of the poor. The gorilla in the room most of the country is ignoring is that the defense budget will have to be drastically cut for any hope of balancing the budget.

That Ryan's plan also cuts the taxes on the rich is a cosmic joke.

Gary said...

This is indeed frustrating. Let's grab coffee and discuss it soon. I'm free Thursday.

Mark Brewer said...

The whole mess is frustrating. It seems that we don't have statesmen in Washington, we mostly (not all) have clowns more worried about the next election. I also agree that the military spending must be reduced.