Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm Already Feeling the Budget Cuts

Lately the new GOP tag-line (slogan) has been, "We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem."

Oh really????

In 2007 we had $2,568,000,000,000 in tax revenues.
In 2010 we had $2,162,700,000,000 in tax revenues.
SOURCE: Tax Policy Center

That is $406 billion less in tax revenues than we had only 3 years ago! And that's because we now have 30 million under and unemployed workers - - - and because of corporate tax dodgers like GE, Boeing, and Exxon-Mobile.

Yet I just heard John Boehner on TV again repeat the lame GOP mantra, " We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem." (Liar, liar, pants on fire!)

Now today in 2011 we're debating a measly $33 billion, but a MUCH NEEDED $33 billion for services that only REGULAR folks need.

"Budget Cuts Hit Bus Lines - And Keep Residents From Jobs"

For me, so far, getting any type of government service has literally been a "pain in my back".

Because of cuts in government services, my local welfare office is closing - where I applied for a temporary medical card and got food stamps; so now the person who drives me there must travel even farther as gas prices are rising. And trying to get anyone on the phone is almost always impossible...and so it makes physically going there in person almost mandatory as the only way one can take care of (what should be) very simple business (such as an address change, etc).

Last Friday I was dialing all day long - before the Social Security office opened, 8 hours during the time it was opened, and after it closed. At 8:59 I got the automated menu, at 9:00 I got a busy signal all day long until 4:49. At 5:00 exactly, I got the automated menu again. Do they only have one person working there, or is the phone just left off the hook?

The government could not have deliberately made it any more difficult for someone to get access to any social benefits if they had tried their very best to do just that. Government "hand-outs" take a lot of time and work. And I'm one of the lucky ones (so far). Even though I lost my car, I still have access to transportation and a phone...and I'm not in a wheelchair or missing a limb. I don't have to rely on a city bus that never runs at all.

But reduced social services aren't enough for the GOP or Tea Party, as though not one single Republican will ever be 62 years old and need Social Security, or live to be 65 to rely on Medicare in their old age, or ever be hurt or become disabled before they're 62, or ever lose their job and life's savings and need food stamps to eat.

Many people who lost their jobs during the Great Recession thought, "That could never happen to me!" And then a few weeks (or several months) later I see them in the same line as me...even Republicans.

That's because "big government" does not differentiate between political parties when you need to register your car, receive retirement benefits, seek a doctor's care, apply for a driver's license renewal, need your garbage hauled away, or need to rely on public transportation such as a subway or bus. Not to mention the usual teachers, firefighters, and police.

Everybody suffers for lack of government services because the GOP (and too many Democrats) refuses to tax the rich or collect taxes from the biggest corporations (their financial backers). But the GOP wants to CUT! CUT! CUT! (But not increase taxes at all). But the politicians only want to cuts stuff that average people like me need:

From the Huff Po: "Every extra dollar going to military spending ends up being offset by a dollar reduction in spending on domestic social programs."

In other words: Food stamps for bullets, unemployment benefits for a "no-fly zone" in Libya, Medicaid for "smart bombs", Medicare for nuclear submarines, Social Security for massive aircraft carriers. Go figure...and the Democrats are just as guilty as the GOP.

If you're a huge corporation like Boeing with a government contract, or a bribed member of Congress, or a general on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, you're riding on the backs of people who are suffering. I can barely make it out of bed some mornings and I have had to jump through hoops for the past two months - and I still haven't been able to see a damn doctor to get treatment for the pain in my back!

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully your temporary medical card doesn't expire before you can even get the first appointment! (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)