Blogging Forgottonia

Musings from the hinterlands

Contra Bulkeley Re: Asking the Right Question

with 3 comments

Harry Bulkeley thinks we’re not asking the right question in regards to the debate over the federal budget.  For him, the only important question is “Do we have any money to pay for______?” And the answer, according to Mr. Bulkeley, ‘is a clear and resounding “NO!!”’

First off, the discretionary spending being discussed in his editorial accounts for something like 12% of the federal budget.  So Mr. Bulkeley – along with the President, the Congress, and most media outlets – ignore the other 78% of the budget because they don’t want to touch those political hot potatoes (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and defense spending).  It’s cowardice and our children deserve better.

Secondly, cuts in social programs today often lead to GREATER costs down the line.  For instance, if you cut funding for preventive mental health services, the people benefiting from those services don’t just disappear.  They end up in emergency rooms and jails, which are far more expensive and far less effective means of addressing their needs.  Worse, people who were once able to function, hold jobs, pay taxes & provide income for their families are no longer able to do so.  So yes, absolutely, it’s better to send out the government collectors plate to preserve programs like that rather than ax them for short term improvements in the balance sheet.  You may save a dime today, but you’ll spend a thousand dollars tomorrow.

What we can’t afford is the conservative social engineering started by that Republican deity Ronald Reagan that shoots money like a geyser UP the social ladder, concentrating wealth & power among the super-rich top 0.1% while everyone else gets screwed.  Why is the social security payroll tax capped at incomes a little over $100K?  Why do the rich get to pay only a 15% tax rate because most of their income is from capital gains?  Republicans are even trying to kill the estate tax by playing it off as a small business killing “death tax” in a horrifically disingenuous propaganda campaign.

These policies all serve to create a new American aristocracy with wealth & power concentrated in the hands of a few.  The heroes of the American Revolution fought & bled & died to break away from the tyranny of the British aristocracy.  Aristocracy is the enemy of democracy, not socialism.  I fear most Americans won’t realize that until it’s far too late.

I agree – ask the right questions.  Harry Bulkeley and most of the folks commenting on his editorial are NOT.


Written by Matthew

March 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Will read Harry’s essay and make a comment. Unfortunately your megaphone is not as well funded as those who misinform populace.

    Steve Davis

    March 1, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    • I made some progress in the comments – got Russ? to actually think about the realities of our economic choices.

      Steve Davis

      March 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

  2. Thanks for commenting, Steve. I couldn’t keep up with the comments to Bulkeley’s article because the thread was taken over by Russ Kilby and LA Woman ranting at each other. That seems to happen with every politically oriented article or editorial at the R-M. They both occasionally make intelligent comments, but I get sick of their constant & repetitive bickering.


    March 6, 2011 at 6:21 am

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