Draconian: A Second Look At the GOP’s Cuts


Okay, perhaps I wasn’t being fair yesterday when I slammed the Tea Party’s proposed budget plan for the rest of the federal fiscal year (which runs until September 30). Maybe I was just being a sorry liberal, not caring about my children and grandchildren and the oppressive debt they are going to have to pay off. Maybe I just didn’t care about the job-crushing,innovation-stifling, anti-American, Neo-Marxist-Muslim Caliphate that Barack Hussein Osama Obama is trying to foist on an unsuspecting nation. Maybe I’m just a tool of the enemy.  

So I decided to look even closer at the House Appropriations Committee Tea Party-inspired plan. Here’s what I found:

Terminated programs:
  • AmeriCorps
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Project RIO (Reintegration of Ex-Offenders)
  • YouthBuild (a jobs training program for youth in the juvenile justice system) 
  • Green Jobs Innovation Fund
  • Career Pathways Innovation Fund
  • National Health Service Corps Scholarship Fund
  • Family Planning (Title X)
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Discretionary Grants
  • Mentoring Children of Prisoners Grants
  • Even Start Family Literacy Program
  • Striving Readers Grants for Middle and High Schools
  • High School Graduation Initiative (School Dropout Prevention Initiative)
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (higher ed financial assistance for very low income students)
  • LEAP (work-study program for low-income college students)
 
Even the Tea Partiers can’t completely gut every domestic social program (yet), but they are proposing deep reductions in the following:
  • Community Health Centers which serve the uninsured (46 percent of regular appropriation)
  • Substance abuse treatment (more than $200 million cut)
  • Community Services Block Grant (44 percent cut)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance contingency fund (66 percent cut)
  • FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program (50 percent cut)
  • Title I (K-12 education for low-income students) ($693.5 million)
  • IDEA (special education) grants to states:  (nearly $560 million) 
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program (11.4 percent cut)
  • Community Development Fund ($2.95 billion, or 66.3 percent cut)
  • Project-based rental assistance ($715.5 million, or 8.4 percent cut)
  • Public Housing Capital Fund ($1.07 billion, or 42 percent cut)
  • Housing for the Elderly ($551 million, or 67 percent cut)
  • Housing for Persons with Disabilities ($210 million, or 70 percent cut)
  • Head Start ($1billion, or 15 percent cut) Yes, I misreported this yesterday as one of the terminated programs. More Marxist disinformation. Sorry.
Back in 7th century BCE Athens, a lawyer proposed a new set of laws, to replace the oral traditions and to be administered through a new court system. Draco’s solution to the arbitrary and unfair traditions was to impose extremely harsh sanctions. Debtors were forced into slavery. The death penalty was ordered for even minor infractions of the penal code. “Draconian” became the term for any legal solution utterly lacking in moral sense. 

So, on reflection, I wasn’t being fair yesterday. If the GOP succeeds with this madness, (an all too real possibility), the deficit will continue unabated and the real structural problems with Medicare and Social Security will remain. But America will be poorer, less educated, less healthy and less competitive than we already are. 

Here’s fair: restore taxes to their pre-2003 levels for people like me, fix the gaping holes in the Medicare and Social Security systems and save the country. That’s fair. 

But this–this is just Draconian. 

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