You’re A Mean One, Mister Grinch.
In a move showing the blackness of Republican hearts, the Senate voted yesterday to approve of cutting the federal budget by $39.7 billion over the next five years, for programs designed to help the most needy in our country.
With the vote tied at 50-50, Vice President Dick Cheney, in his dual role as President of the Senate, cast the tie breaking vote.
The cuts would impose premiums and co-payments on millions of low-income Americans covered by Medicaid. It also makes it more difficult for the elderly to qualify for Medicaid coverage for nursing home care. The move also freezes Medicare subsidies for home health services.
Recipients of welfare (the human kind, corporate welfare is left alone as is) are subject to stricter work requirements. If you’re a single mother on welfare who is trying to work and raise your child, much less better yourself by taking evening college courses, then you are simply screwed. Additionally, states are subject to penalties (yes, penalties) if they don’t throw more people off of welfare. Meanwhile, those single mothers get the shaft again, as aid to help states collect child support from dead-beat dads are reduced.
But those hardest hit by the bill are college students. 32% of the budget “savings” will be paid by college students having to pay higher interest rates on their loans.
Those reductions in the budget is expected to become mute point by February however. The GOP plans to extend tax cuts to the rich by an additional $70 billion dollars, while the Pentagon budget has grown by an additional $50 billion to a total of $452 billion.
This Christmas season it seems that the GOP is endlessly crowing about a “war on Christmas”, while giving the Spirit of Christmas a final nail in the coffin.