What Is Your Philosophy?

Add that to the unfunded Iraq war projected to cost $3 trillion when all is said and done. Add also the Bush $400 billion-plus Medicare prescription drug program. Written by the insurance companies and the drug companies, it bars the federal government from negotiating better prices while driving up drug costs and padding pharmaceutical company profits.

Add in also deficits which are now resulting from the redemption of U.S. Treasury Bonds previously purchased with surpluses by the Social Security Trust Fund. (This is because Congress decided that bonds held by the Trust Fund would not be counted until they are redeemed, unlike the U.S. Treasury Bonds sold to China, which are counted when sold to them. Both finance the national debt, but only China's are counted when the deficit actually occurs.)

Now, in the name of deficit reduction, conservatives are busy trying to cut programs which help the middle class and the poor. Let's look at a few of their proposals which have already been passed by the House.

Cuts of $1.7 billion from the administrative budget for Social Security, which would result in as many as 500,000 people having their applications for disability, retirement, survivors and Medicare benefits significantly delayed. Elimination of meat and poultry inspectors that will result in more people suffering from food-borne illness. Kicking 218,000 kids out of the Head Start program and laying off 55,000 Head Start instructors. A $5.7 billion cut reducing or eliminating Pell grants for 9.4 million low-income college students. Termination of the one program that helps homeless veterans get off the streets and out of shelters. Drastic cut-backs in funding for community health centers, denying primary health care to 11 million Americans. A cut of $405 million from the Community Services Block Grant Program; these grants provide emergency help for food, heat, housing and other very basic necessities of life for the poorest of the poor. A cut of $400 million from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Conservatives do not like the Affordable Care Act, and have made that clear. In the House, they have voted to take away the provisions that ban health plans from dropping people when they get sick. They voted to restore discrimination against kids with pre-existing conditions. They eliminated the provision which allowed for a continuation in insurance coverage for children up to age 26. They voted to re-impose lifetime limits for insurance coverage, and voted to stop the phase-out of annual limits. Conservatives are reversing provisions they had said they would include in an alternative Health Care Reform bill if they were allowed to defeat, or overturn after it was passed, the Affordable Care Act.

Conservatives in the House have also voted to slash EPA funding by 30 percent and undercut enforcement of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. They voted $750 million in cuts to the WIC program, which provides supplemental nutrition for women, infants, and children. At a time when states are laying off hundreds of thousands of teachers, conservatives voted to cut $5 billion from the Department of Education.

Tax cuts for the wealthy and program cuts for the middle class and the poor. This is a chilling demonstration of conservative philosophy. Is that your philosophy, too?
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