Friday, November 18, 2005

Good to know we have our priorities straight. . .

During an acrimonious extended session, our leaders brokered compromise on the contentious budget bill, according to the Washington Post. Let's focus on the highlights:

"Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.) called the youthful, redheaded Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) a "Howdy Doody-looking nimrod."

So much for the silver lining. Now, on to the cloud:

"The House measure would cut about 220,000 people off food stamps, allow states to impose new costs on Medicaid beneficiaries, squeeze student lenders, cut aid to state child-support enforcement programs and trim farm supports".

"The proposed spending package for fiscal 2006 is smaller than this year's version, meaning high priorities such as disease research, rural health care, Pell grants and low-income heating assistance were allotted less money".

"Under the bill, health care programs would be cut by $976 million, including a $249 million reduction to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the smallest percentage increase for the National Institutes of Health in 35 years."

"Education funding would decline for the first time in a decade, with Pell grants frozen for the fourth year in a row. Infuriating many lawmakers from Northern states, funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which subsidizes heating bills, would remain stagnant.".

That GOP - always looking out for the poor and our future. More blankets, anyone?

But wait. There is more good news:

A provision denying Medicaid nursing home benefits to people with home equity of $500,000 would be modified by raising the limit to $750,000.

And who said Medicaid was for poor people?

Finally, lest anyone think the GOP is really cracking-down on spending where it actually matters to them and their constiuents:

"as early as today, House Republicans hope to pass a five-year $57 billion tax cut that would more than undo the savings in the deficit-reduction measure."

See, redistribution of wealth is only a bad thing when it's aimed at the poor. When money's taken from the poor and middle classes and handed to the wealthy, that's just called standard GOP operating procedure.

They should've held this vote until Christmas. As a nice companion piece to annual "A Christmas Carol" viewings. Just sayin'.

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