The outline of the cuts to the national budget proposed by the Republican-led House of Representatives was recently posted. The proposed changes include the elimination of AmeriCorps, High-speed Rail, Family Planning and the Corporation of Public Broadcasting as well as significant reductions in Food Aid for Pregnant Women and Children, the Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control, Legal Aid for the Poor, the Food and Drug Administration, the Community Development Fund and Community Health Centers.
It should be noted that The Defense Budget would remain untouched as well as the many subsidies afforded large corporate business interests. The House members who are responsible for these proposals were also adamant in their support for continued tax breaks for the wealthiest in the nation.
The overwhelming majority of these proposals adversely impact that segment of the population that represents the neediest among us. These proposals also seek to undermine the role of science, the need for regulation in the face of accelerating environmental degradation and the essential role of the commons in regards to the welfare of all our citizens. This is especially distressing given the current state of the national economy. It reflects a mean-spirited worldview that is fueled by an extremist interpretation of the Constitution and an exceedingly narrow view of the role of government. It is, in essence, class warfare of the most pernicious kind, for it sustains and adds to the exorbitant wealth of the few at the expense of the many.
If the national constituency behind this Republican majority continues to support their chosen leadership, given the real nature of their policies, then they will inevitably witness an accelerated decline in the well being of a vast number of individuals and the continued evisceration of the middle class.
This political reality is especially disheartening, for the human suffering that will result from these policies, should they be implemented, is completely avoidable if there were but a modicum of true compassion and generosity among those who hold real political and economic power in this country.