Thursday, March 16, 2006

Trimming the phat!

Bitch, bitch, bitch. That seems to be the underriding theme here. Maybe I should rename the blog. Don't waste your time reading this. Save your good mood, if you're in one, 'cause I'll only bring you down.

Okay, if you're still here, what has me so rankled today? Well before I even got to the major news stories from yesterday/overnight, a couple of items in the local paper had me stewing.

On a couple of occasions in this blog, I've mentioned a boss I had with a sister who required kidney dialysis. She was on Medicaid. It was the early 80's when out of some Reaganomical sense of 'fiscal responsibility', the number of treatments she was allowed was cut in half. She died shortly thereafter. I wondered then how many others our government had killed with their budget cuts.

Well, this isn't intended as a poke at republicans only. Their opposition party, which has evolved into a pack of aimless weasels, has committed its own social attrocities. But I have extreme difficulty reconciling the proud compassionate conservatism of the right rooted in a supposed deep Christian caring for the less fortunate and dispossessed with people left dying as a result of their budget cuts. Of images of people thirsty and starving on rooftops as an occasional former neighbor's body drifts by on its way out to sea while their president's off fiddling with a guitar or celebrating a birthday with his favorite monkey-boy, John McCain.

We, the richest nation on Earth (so long as Japan, China and others continue to float our debt), can't afford to help struggling citizens of this nation. We need that money for tax cuts for the richest among us. And even more, we need that money to bomb the shit out of the Iraqis after siphoning off obscene amounts by government defrauders awarded no-bid contracts which our administration has very *special interests* in.

So while it comes as no surprise to me to read the overall wealth of American households during the period 2001-2004 since Bush & Co. took office has increased a very paltry sum. From an average of $91,700 per household in 2001 to $93,100 in 2004. This is a very misleading figure because American's savings declined by a whopping 23% during this same period. The source of their wealth increase? The value of their homes under the current housing bubble. They increased in value an average of 22%. So the *real wealth* increase turns out to be from the *illusion* created by a bubble.

Meanwhile, compassionate conservatism is on the march again across America. Just one example: Locally over 1,500 kids have been cut from the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Texas statewide has seen nearly 200,000 kids dropped from the rolls at its peak. Medicaid is mirroring similar drops in their enrollment.

We are told it's because these aid program's contracts have been awarded to a new multi-billion dollar company chosen to transition to a new system that will bring the process into the 21st century.

So, you kids out there suffering for lack of your meds, be patient. If some of you die in the transition, know you did not die in vain. You gave your life for a new improved system. Progress takes time. But it's worth the wait. Even if it kills you.

Oh, and while you're suffering, maybe for each asthmatic breath you gasp, also take comfort in knowing the compassionate budget streamlining your government is enacting, is enabling them to work in Iraq as well. By killing kids and their parents there too!

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