I am outraged, simply outraged, by the administration’s proposed budget for 2018, released this past week. I believe that you are too.
- Who would take health insurance away from children who are poor?
- Who would take away an already miserly monthly support payment from those with severe disabilities?
- Who would take food stamps away from families whose children are hungry when they go to sleep every night?
- Who would take health insurance away from our citizens who already are doubly disadvantaged: disabled and poor?
- Who would be so cruel? Who would be so heartless? Who would be so callous?
We all know who!
The administration spokesperson, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a tea partier, defended these outrageous proposals by saying that the administration is protecting the American taxpayer. In response, Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post, called this statement “a cruelty wrapped in a lie.”
The cruelty: The actual reality is that the president and this administration make distinctions about who is “worthy.” The wealthy are “worthy;” those who are poor and disabled are not. Therefore, this administration always tries to provide financial advantage to the wealthy and remove benefits from the poor.
The mere excesses of this cruelty simply boggle any reasonable person’s mind. This budget seeks to take trillions of dollars away from the poor over 10 years. Dramatic cuts would be made in the Child Health Insurance Program, Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance, SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid.
For Medicaid alone, the estimated decrease would be in excess of $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The budget assumes that the American Health Care Act will be passed this year, resulting in a decrease of $880 billion for Medicaid over 10 years. The administration also proposes in this budget an additional cut to Medicaid of more than $600 billion over 10 years. Clearly, this even is beyond outrageous, if such be possible!
The lie: To achieve a balanced budget in a decade, the administration assumes a growth rate of 3% for the economy. The most optimistic prediction by credible economists is about 2%. Thus, the budget’s economic projections are nothing more than a fiction.
The lie actually would be humorous, something to be expected when credibility and honesty are known to be absent in this administration, but the outrageous cruelty must not and should not be forgiven.
Senate leaders, where are you?
Governors, where are you?
County commissioners, where are you?
All of you know that the administration’s proposal is absolutely unacceptable, that it is beyond outrageous, and that it is morally derelict. If enacted, our rate of homelessness would skyrocket, our youth mortality rate would soar, and our lifespan would plummet.
So I ask you, our leaders, how are you going to respond to this cruelty wrapped in a lie. Are you going to sit by, silently, and permit this outrage to happen? Or, are you going to step forth and actually exert some moral leadership?
As you ponder your course, I hope that you will recall other recent national instances where the poor were treated outrageously. Czarist Russia, Weimar Germany, and Syria come immediately to mind.
We expect big things of you, our leaders. Don’t disappoint. We will be watching carefully.
And we will be voting.