Apr 9, 2011

Last minute drama over for now, shutdown averted. But what got CUT out of 38 BILLION dollars?

The cable TV people were mostly preoccupied last night with the drama over the shutdown.  But scarcely a word on the cuts themselves.    Some 38 BILLION in cuts.  With a "B".

I haven't heard any details about the cuts agreed to by the Congress.  When they come to light, liberals probably wont like the horsetrading that cost billions in people- programs.    (Remember, all federal spending creates jobs for people.  Both those who GET the CHECK/EARN it, and those who work when they SPEND it at the grocery stores and restaurants and make car payments!!)

Hopefully they aren't critical programs like Head Start and Section 8 housing for poor elderly.  Or cuts in grandma's nursing home care through Medicaid to states.   But for another billion in custs, they managed to halt the fast one as the GOP tried to defund women's health issues at clinics like Planned Parenthood-- who basically serve as OB-GYN doctors for many young and poor women.

The really big fight remains...as they take up the much bigger, full-year 2012 budget. Not 38 billion.  Maybe a TRILLION!  Do we suppose that will end up face- to- face with yet another last-minute, continuing resolution?  So will that be a super-sized side show?   Can we now please deal with China, getting out of our wars, and tackling immigration.  And the insane tax cuts for billionaires?  The real issues where the real money is!

Anyway last night's cliffhanger ran past midnight Washington time... before the Senate and the House rushed through the deal and drove it down Pennsylvania avenue to the President.  He called it the largest spending cut in US history...sans the earmarked policy additions.  And thanks all around among men who surely took each others names in vain over the past few days.

It will be fun listening to the backstory of how this happened.  And not so fun reviewing cuts that will always hurt people.

Remember how hard the Republicans fought in 2005 to keep nearly brain-dead Terri Schiavo alive in Florida when her husband wanted to withdraw IV nutrition?  Today's GOP would never have allowed government funding  for her or the thousands of other gorked out people lying in nursing homes all over the country.  The elephant in the room is the trillion dollar question:  Just because we CAN keep people alive forever, can we afford to, so should we?

Wonder if Soylent Green's incorporated yet.

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