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View Full Version : GOP goes ahead to cut Medicaid, food stamps while poor suffer



Michael Allred
09-09-2005, 04:16 PM
WASHINGTON - Republicans are going ahead with long-standing plans to trim Medicaid, food stamps and other benefits, even though party moderates are balking at cutting programs that aid the poor while hundreds of thousands are homeless from Hurricane Katrina.


The amount of savings no more than $35 billion spread over five years is modest at best, but it is the first time in eight years that Congress has shown any seriousness about reining in the automatic growth of such benefit programs.

Republican leaders have decided to delay the budget-cutting effort for at least a few weeks following widespread complaints that the government reacted too slowly in coming to the aid of Katrina's victims. When the effort resumes next month, there's less likelihood it will succeed because of Katrina's affect on the political landscape.

The proposed cuts pale when compared to the unprecedented price tag of the Katrina relief and recovery. In the past week alone Congress has appropriated $62 billion to deal with the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. The government is spending more than a $1 billion a day on the relief effort.

For the GOP's fiscal conservatives, however, it's as important as ever for lawmakers to take whatever opportunity they can to cut spending. Recent acts by Congress, including a huge highway bill larded with hometown projects, have reinforced Congress' reputation with the GOP base for playing loose with taxpayers' money.

"The reform of government needs to continue," said House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa.

Cuts are planned for the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled, student loan subsidies for banks, farm subsidies and food stamps, among others. Katrina has helped solidify opposition to them among moderates in both parties.

"At a time when millions are displaced and seeking federal and state assistance, we believe it is inappropriate to move forward on ... a legislative package that would cut funding for Medicaid, food stamps ... housing and education," Sens. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., wrote in a letter this week to the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Smith and Snowe's votes are needed if $10 billion in Medicaid cuts are to advance over unified Democratic opposition, and their hesitance puts those cuts in doubt.

Democratic leaders say it is folly to cut the very programs that help hurricane and flood victims.

"It makes no sense to consider such a bill at a time when the massive needs of those affected by Hurricane Katrina are still being assessed," Sen. Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record) of Nevada and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) of California wrote in a letter to GOP leaders.

GOP spending hawks counter that entitlement programs are spiraling out of control and that the pending effort would, according to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., "reduce the rate of growth of Medicaid over the next five years from 41 percent to 40 percent 1 percent."

Democrats contend Congress would be better off doing nothing, since a companion plan to extend expiring tax cuts would pad the deficit by $70 billion. The tax cuts include extending cuts on capital gains and dividends taxes, which generally help wealthier taxpayers.

Senate Republicans, however, have shelved indefinitely plans for a vote to repeal the estate tax, which would benefit the heirs of multimillionaires.

Cutting spending is supposed to be what Republicans like to do best. When the GOP class of 1994 stormed Washington a decade ago, its top priority was to balance the budget by reining in federal spending on government benefit plans like Medicaid and the Medicare program for the elderly. Congress last took on the growth in entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid in 1997.

The return of big budget deficits from Bush's tax cuts, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan prompted this year's effort to try again.

The proposed $35 billion in cuts is barely a dent, just 3/10ths of 1 percent of a budget predicted to total $14 trillion over the next five years. There's little stomach for stronger action, but conservatives say the precedent is urgently needed for when the Baby Boom generation retires and drastically inflated Medicare and Social Security costs force more cuts.

"It's an important experience for lawmakers to get used to," said Heritage Foundation budget analyst Brian Reidl.

Not all of the deficit reduction package would come from spending cuts. The Senate Energy Committee, for example, is poised to approve a hotly contested plan to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. The move would generate $2.4 billion in leasing revenues.

Separately, the Commerce panel is poised to raise $4.8 billion or more by authorizing the auction to wireless companies of analog airwaves that TV stations will relinquish when they switch to digital technology.


So instead of cutting out the PORK, they continue to adversely affect the poor. Go figure.

Unassisted
09-09-2005, 05:17 PM
Ah, but that's what the states are for. Take my state for example. Last year, in a gesture of fiscal restraint, the legislature here eliminated a $100 million dollar program that paid for healthcare for uninsured children.

OK, maybe that's a bad example... ;)

I remember in a Macro Econ class I took in college, the professor told us that transfer payments (welfare, healthcare assistance, etc.) were money paid by the government to keep the poor from rioting in the streets. I guess cuts like these mean that keeping taxes low is now more important than keeping the poor from rioting in the streets.

Johnny Footstool
09-09-2005, 05:18 PM
But seriously, we don't need national health insurance. :bang:

pedro
09-09-2005, 05:24 PM
I remember in a Macro Econ class I took in college, the professor told us that transfer payments (welfare, healthcare assistance, etc.) were money paid by the government to keep the poor from rioting in the streets. I guess cuts like these mean that keeping taxes low is now more important than keeping the poor from rioting in the streets.

There's a lot of truth to that IMO.

There's a reason why the US didn't have a socialist revolution in the 30's, the creation of the "welfare state". It may be distasteful to the "right" and they may want to dismantle it, but I think there are arguments aside from humanitarism for keeping it in place. Hedging our bets against riots in the streets is one of them.

RBA
09-09-2005, 05:45 PM
Cut them all off. Survivial of the fittest, I say. Cut all the programs. Wait, if we did that, Walmart Associates wouldn't have a Health Plan (which is simply not paying enough, so they can get on the state medical program)

ghettochild
09-09-2005, 05:54 PM
i'm screwed then.

KronoRed
09-09-2005, 05:56 PM
So...cut money on helping the less privileged to pay for a war to help the less privileged.

Got it.

BUTLER REDSFAN
09-09-2005, 06:21 PM
any1 check out the "poor" people at the superdome-i'd say every other person was a good 50-100 pounds overweight--maybe its cause the government pays them to sit on their fat behinds all day and dont do a stinking thing to do anything productive for society

Redsfaithful
09-09-2005, 06:25 PM
any1 check out the "poor" people at the superdome-i'd say every other person was a good 50-100 pounds overweight--maybe its cause the government pays them to sit on their fat behinds all day and dont do a stinking thing to do anything productive for society

Republicans. Such heart! You have to love 'em.

Or hate 'em. Love 'em or hate 'em, I can't really remember which. No, it was hate I think.

BUTLER REDSFAN
09-09-2005, 06:28 PM
hate me but tell me how the comment is wrong

Rojo
09-09-2005, 06:28 PM
any1 check out the "poor" people at the superdome-i'd say every other person was a good 50-100 pounds overweight--maybe its cause the government pays them to sit on their fat behinds all day and dont do a stinking thing to do anything productive for society

Or maybe there isn't anything for them to do. The Government maintains a "sustainable" level of unemployment, ostensibly to stave off inflation.

When FDR first ran in 1932, he was attacked by the GOP for his support of "full employment". Capitalists have never wanted that because it would dry up their bargaining power with labor. Marx called it the "reserve army of the unemployed."

westofyou
09-09-2005, 06:29 PM
hate me but tell me how the comment is wrong

It's full of assumptions, and you know what they say about assumptions.

RBA
09-09-2005, 06:32 PM
Yeah, us white guys can tell by looking on the tv screen if all these people don't have a job and just take what the government gives them. Because we are trained to judge people by looking at a tv set sitting on our butts 1,000 miles away.

BUTLER REDSFAN
09-09-2005, 06:34 PM
hey red--who's bringing up race???

Falls City Beer
09-09-2005, 06:35 PM
hate me but tell me how the comment is wrong

I work with some people, white people, who are enormous. I mean, total slobs. Maybe they're getting paid too much, what do you think?

RBA
09-09-2005, 06:35 PM
hey red--who's bringing up race???

I'm allowed to make assumptions? Arent I?

BUTLER REDSFAN
09-09-2005, 06:36 PM
and how about you fair minded liberals out there..i make one comment and u drop me 3 points...where is your tolerance that all of you libs love to talk about so much

BUTLER REDSFAN
09-09-2005, 06:37 PM
yeah falls but apparently they are adding to society

Falls City Beer
09-09-2005, 06:37 PM
yeah falls but apparently they are adding to society

Yeah, that's debatable.

pedro
09-09-2005, 06:38 PM
any1 check out the "poor" people at the superdome-i'd say every other person was a good 50-100 pounds overweight--maybe its cause the government pays them to sit on their fat behinds all day and dont do a stinking thing to do anything productive for society

You're sure making headway as a "productive" member of society with your glib observations. :rolleyes:

BUTLER REDSFAN
09-09-2005, 06:39 PM
I work with some people, white people, who are enormous. I mean, total slobs. Maybe they're getting paid too much, what do you think?---hey falls why you bringing up race too????? who said anything about black people....

Falls City Beer
09-09-2005, 06:40 PM
---hey falls why you bringing up race too????? who said anything about black people....

If you're talking about homeless victims of Katrina, you're talking about black people, plain and simple.

BUTLER REDSFAN
09-09-2005, 06:44 PM
i dont like people to be poor anymore than the next person but good lord cant any1 ever take care of themselves--all this constant its bush's fault mentality...most of these people go generation after generation and just never do anything to improve their lives--its not the governments job to take care of them cradle to grave

Big Donkey
09-10-2005, 01:03 AM
i dont like people to be poor anymore than the next person but good lord cant any1 ever take care of themselves--all this constant its bush's fault mentality...most of these people go generation after generation and just never do anything to improve their lives--its not the governments job to take care of them cradle to grave

I rarely, if EVER, get involved in the political threads. I may have never once posted in a political thread, although I have read nearly all of them in my time as a registered member of the site and the time I spent lurking before that, as well. I just usually don't say anything. But some of your comments in this thread have been absurd. Some people can't take care of themselves. I am not defending people who are "lazy" and have "welfare babies" or something like that as I've seen argued before. I'm talking about people who simply DON'T have the capability take care of themselves, or to "better improve their lives through the great colleges of America" as I've heard your President say, while simultaneously slashing federal funding of Pell and other grants.

As someone with a special needs brother, I know this side of the story, with regards to social care programs and such. I'm not saying you directly are talking about stuff like that, though that was what the thread at hand was originally about, according to the title. Wow, I don't know how tired I am of hearing that, how "some people need to learn how to take care of themselves"... I'm sure the special needs folks really are gonna know what they're doing "investing" social security if that's what it comes to. And the righties are trying hard to get it to come to that... while some of them are voting to cut funding ALREADY to the Gulf (you know, the one that borders America that the hurricane hit) while scrambling to send even MORE money to the OTHER Gulf (you know, the one we're actually interested in). Screw the collapsed bridges in Louisiana, we need 'em in Iraq.

Puffy
09-10-2005, 03:00 AM
I rarely, if EVER, get involved in the political threads. I may have never once posted in a political thread, although I have read nearly all of them in my time as a registered member of the site and the time I spent lurking before that, as well. I just usually don't say anything. But some of your comments in this thread have been absurd. Some people can't take care of themselves. I am not defending people who are "lazy" and have "welfare babies" or something like that as I've seen argued before. I'm talking about people who simply DON'T have the capability take care of themselves, or to "better improve their lives through the great colleges of America" as I've heard your President say, while simultaneously slashing federal funding of Pell and other grants.

As someone with a special needs brother, I know this side of the story, with regards to social care programs and such. I'm not saying you directly are talking about stuff like that, though that was what the thread at hand was originally about, according to the title. Wow, I don't know how tired I am of hearing that, how "some people need to learn how to take care of themselves"... I'm sure the special needs folks really are gonna know what they're doing "investing" social security if that's what it comes to. And the righties are trying hard to get it to come to that... while some of them are voting to cut funding ALREADY to the Gulf (you know, the one that borders America that the hurricane hit) while scrambling to send even MORE money to the OTHER Gulf (you know, the one we're actually interested in). Screw the collapsed bridges in Louisiana, we need 'em in Iraq.

:clap:

GAC
09-10-2005, 07:01 AM
First off - where's the link for the source of this article? You guys are always asking for links for confirmation. Where is it? Because from reading it - it seems like a biased piece of crapola. ;)

Secondly - I agree Micheal - why not cut pork? But in reality - NO politician, from either side, is gonna cut the pork they bring home to their respective states - that is like cutting their own throats. And that is not simply a Republican problem. ;)

Last - while I read this partisan "feeding frenzy", try looking at what this article states...

This article (which is why I doubt the source) is very confusing. The lead sentence says Repubs are going ahead with this; but further down it states this....


"At a time when millions are displaced and seeking federal and state assistance, we believe it is inappropriate to move forward on ... a legislative package that would cut funding for Medicaid, food stamps ... housing and education," Sens. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., wrote in a letter this week to the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee....

Republican leaders have decided to delay the budget-cutting effort for at least a few weeks following widespread complaints that the government reacted too slowly in coming to the aid of Katrina's victims. When the effort resumes next month, there's less likelihood it will succeed because of Katrina's affect on the political landscape.

So which is it? Didn't anyone notice this, or maybe you didn't want to?

Repubs hate the poor huh, and could care less? Some of you are really sad with your rhetoric. It gets tiring sometimes.

In the past week alone Congress has appropriated $62 billion to deal with the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. The government is spending more than a $1 billion a day on the relief effort. And much more is being promised.

And what about the direct deposit (involves less personnel), where these displaced poor families can get immediate access up to $2,000 for food, clothing, etc.? Some 400,000 families have already been registered. And this is seen as just as temporary stopgap until something more firm can be put into place.


Democratic leaders say it is folly to cut the very programs that help hurricane and flood victims.

And some on here say this hurricane relief effort shouldn't have politics injected into it. :rolleyes:

So that victims who have received federal benefits administered by the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana can continue to get those benefits where they are staying now, the government is granting evacuee status to everyone who lived in counties that have been declared disaster areas.

"We know that many of you no longer have the legal documents or the records to prove your eligibility for the benefits you've been getting," Bush said. "We understand that. And so with this evacuee status, you will be able to register for your benefits without many of the traditional administrative requirements for verification and enrollment."

The special evacuee status applies to the full range of federal benefits administered by the states - Medicaid; temporary assistance for needy families; child care; mental health services and substance abuse treatment; food stamps; housing; foster care; women, infants and children nutrition; school lunch; unemployment compensation; and job training. ..... http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2005/2005-09-09-01.asp


And I love how this article tries to lay sole blame for the now passed highway bill, and the pork spending it in, on a Republican Congress ONLY. The 91-4 vote in the Senate came hours after the House approved the measure, 412-8. Wow! The Dems should did fight this bill didn't they? Didn't hear much of anything out of them if this is such a bad bill. And there is alot of good in that bill for improving roads, highways, and transportation too.

westofyou
09-10-2005, 10:12 AM
First off - where's the link for the source of this article? You guys are always asking for links for confirmation. Where is it? Because from reading it - it seems like a biased piece of crapola. ;)

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/12603634.htm

Posted on Fri, Sep. 09, 2005


ANDREW TAYLOR

Associated Press

Falls City Beer
09-10-2005, 10:52 AM
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/12603634.htm

Posted on Fri, Sep. 09, 2005


ANDREW TAYLOR

Associated Press

GAC gets his bluff called. Again. I'm shocked.

westofyou
09-10-2005, 10:57 AM
GAC gets his bluff called. Again. I'm shocked.

The Mercury is one of the best papers on the West Coast.

BTW GAC, take the 1st sentence of the article and google news it.

If it's a legit article chances are it will show faster than a blog/small town non wire/ private site

Falls City Beer
09-10-2005, 10:59 AM
The Mercury is one of the best papers on the West Coast.

BTW GAC, take the 1st sentence of the article and google news it.

If it's a legit article chances are it will show faster than a blog/small town non wire/ private site

Yeah, one of my buddies in grad school worked for it for 5 years. Great publication. Nice city, too.

GAC
09-10-2005, 11:26 AM
GAC gets his bluff called. Again. I'm shocked.

No. I simply did the liberal thing and asked for a link (which wasn't provided).

Now - do you want to address the other items that I highlighted in my previous response? Some of you are simply cryin' wolf. The Title says that the GOP goes ahead and makes these cuts (as if they have been done) - and the article itself says they are not, and it probably won't occur in the near future.


BTW GAC, take the 1st sentence of the article and google news it.

Wasn't questioning it's per say. I don't care how well known or popular the newspaper is on the west coast (that in itself says alot) - it presents some biases towards Repubs in it, while seemingly ignoring Democratic involvement/innocence in the matters (such as in that highway bill and pork spending).

westofyou
09-10-2005, 11:50 AM
(that in itself says alot)

Well you're in the middle of the country and voted for Bush.

What's that say?

BTW I don't judge the press on "Being well known" or "Popular" I instead use content and other journalism standards. The news isn't about being popular or well known it's about the news.

westofyou
09-10-2005, 11:54 AM
Wasn't questioning it's per say.

Yes you were.


This article (which is why I doubt the source) is very confusing.

westofyou
09-10-2005, 11:58 AM
Here are some links to the same story on the "legitimate" side of the country.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/09/AR2005090901245.html

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/12603634.htm

http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-katrina-budget,0,709866.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines

GAC
09-10-2005, 01:09 PM
Here are some links to the same story on the "legitimate" side of the country.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/09/AR2005090901245.html

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/12603634.htm

http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-katrina-budget,0,709866.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines

And it's the same article, which also says this woy....

Republican leaders have decided to delay the budget-cutting effort for at least a few weeks following widespread complaints that the government reacted too slowly in coming to the aid of Katrina's victims. When the effort resumes next month, there's less likelihood it will succeed because of Katrina's affect on the political landscape.

"At a time when millions are displaced and seeking federal and state assistance, we believe it is inappropriate to move forward on ... a legislative package that would cut funding for Medicaid, food stamps ... housing and education," Sens. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., wrote in a letter this week to the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

So again I ask - The title of the article says "GOP goes ahead to cut Medicaid, food stamps..."

And they haven't. And I doubt it occurs now.

So what the title of the article claims is not legitimate... and it sure isn't truthful. The content of the article contradicts the title. You don't see that?

westofyou
09-10-2005, 01:22 PM
So what the title of the article claims is not legitimate... and it sure isn't truthful. The content of the article contradicts the title. You don't see that?

Personally I'm not arguing that, you're arguing that.

I was just following your initial lead about looking for a source, you didn't see one so it was questionable, then it was from California and that made it "questionable"

Well there it is NYC, DC and Miami all with the same title, mostly because it's an AP story, not some lefty, commie rag in the hitherlands of nutty California.

If you want to take issue with the content now go ahead and highlight away.

GAC
09-10-2005, 03:45 PM
Personally I'm not arguing that, you're arguing that.

I was just following your initial lead about looking for a source, you didn't see one so it was questionable, then it was from California and that made it "questionable"

Well there it is NYC, DC and Miami all with the same title, mostly because it's an AP story, not some lefty, commie rag in the hitherlands of nutty California.

If you want to take issue with the content now go ahead and highlight away.

And I, or anyone, had justification initially to question it when no source is provided. If it had been identified originally as an AP story then there would have been no justification for doubt. And I wasn't dismissing it solely on the fact the article appeared in a west coast paper, but I also the blatant biases and incocnsistencies it shown.

Nuff said. ;)

westofyou
09-10-2005, 03:49 PM
And it wasn't just the fact the article appeared in a west coast paper, but I also the blatant biases and incocnsistencies it shown.

Yet this nugget says otherwise.


(that in itself says alot)

Falls City Beer
09-10-2005, 03:58 PM
Yet this nugget says otherwise.

Usually the ones yammering about biases are the most biased.

pedro
09-10-2005, 03:59 PM
I don't care how well known or popular the newspaper is on the west coast (that in itself says alot) -

GAC, this is far from the first time that you have belittled opinions or sources because they came from the west coast or California. Those of us who no longer live in Ohio could just as well make the claim that nothing that comes from a source in Ohio should be taken seriously, but that would be equally shallow and misguided. Please think about that the next time you attack an opinion because of the region in which you believe it to have eminated.

GAC
09-10-2005, 04:01 PM
Usually the ones yammering about biases are the most biased.

And you should talk. :rolleyes:

Falls City Beer
09-10-2005, 04:06 PM
And you should talk. :rolleyes:

Do a quick search and try to find how many times and in what contexts I speak of biases. You won't find many.

I'm not concerned with bias; I'm concerned with truth and falsehood, empirical evidence, and logical conclusions based on that evidence. The things I read from writers who follow that circuity can seldom be accused of bias. Only blogs, propaganda, and blind followership can be accused of such things. And I can sniff them out in a heartbeat.

GAC
09-10-2005, 04:10 PM
Yet this nugget says otherwise.

Really? The nugget says just what I stated above.... "And it wasn't just the fact the article appeared in a west coast paper, but also the blatant biases and inconsistencies it shown."

And I find it interesting that you seem to feel it's somehow wrong for anyone to show doubt from any media source from the west coast, when it is overtly liberal/left. But you have proven your point by showing the other links.

But if you want to keep arguing over this little "nugget" while ignoring the content of the article in comparison with it's title, which is the most important issue here, then have it. I'm gonna go watch football. ;)

ghettochild
09-10-2005, 05:53 PM
bold text regular text underlined text BOLD UNDERLINED TEXT!!

BUTLER REDSFAN
09-10-2005, 07:19 PM
Originally Posted by Big Donkey
I rarely, if EVER, get involved in the political threads. I may have never once posted in a political thread, although I have read nearly all of them in my time as a registered member of the site and the time I spent lurking before that, as well. I just usually don't say anything. But some of your comments in this thread have been absurd. Some people can't take care of themselves. I am not defending people who are "lazy" and have "welfare babies" or something like that as I've seen argued before. I'm talking about people who simply DON'T have the capability take care of themselves, or to "better improve their lives through the great colleges of America" as I've heard your President say, while simultaneously slashing federal funding of Pell and other grants.
************big donkey,thats who i've been talking about all this time--i have no beef with disabled people being looked after...you yourself referenced "lazy" people and welfare baby generations..of course all the disabled people of the world need all the help they can get ....gettin a lot of hate mail and being called absurd yet you seem to agree with what my point is?!?!?!?!?!?

GAC
09-10-2005, 08:26 PM
Do a quick search and try to find how many times and in what contexts I speak of biases. You won't find many.

But it's not about speaking - it's about showing. ;)

There isn't a person who exists who doesn't have biases of some manner.


I'm not concerned with bias; I'm concerned with truth and falsehood, empirical evidence, and logical conclusions based on that evidence. The things I read from writers who follow that circuity can seldom be accused of bias. Only blogs, propaganda, and blind followership can be accused of such things. And I can sniff them out in a heartbeat.

Yeah - you're a regular blood hound. You're just as guilty of following the same style of propaganda and blind followship that your side also demonstrates. Rarely do I see you break rank when it shows the same blatant biases and wrongs.

Rojo
09-11-2005, 12:13 PM
************big donkey,thats who i've been talking about all this time--i have no beef with disabled people being looked after...you yourself referenced "lazy" people and welfare baby generations..of course all the disabled people of the world need all the help they can get

Do you think the difference between a bond trader who makes $300K/year and a factory worker is how hard they work?

GAC
09-11-2005, 04:19 PM
Yes. Plus education maybe too. That is why most factory workers are classified as unskilled labor.