...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003
      ( 9:32 AM )
BushCo Adds 50 NEW Enemies -
Do They Get Playing Cards Too?

In a FANTASTIC editorial in this morning's Oregonian, David Sarasohn wrote about the fact that BushCo has literally left all 50 states to die economically. Not only the unfunded mandates for education and homeland security, but also Medicaid and total lack of federal funding for other areas. Bush basically told the Governors' Conference to eat his shorts this year, and he looks to be gaining the ominous notoriety of being the first president to preside over all 50 states going bankrupt...simultaneously.

"A few years ago, there was a lot of talk about
the role the states could play," recalls Nick Johnson,
director of the State Fiscal Project of the Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.
"Now, it's just about shutting government down at all levels."

States, of course, spend just about all their money
on things like education, health care and corrections,
things that hold up both the society and the economy.
But the Bush strategy is that all money is better
off staying with the taxpayer -- especially when the
federal government can just run the biggest deficits
in history -- and that only cutting taxes moves the economy.

But "the massive crisis that has hit the states and
localities," points out James K. Galbraith,
economics professor at the University of Texas, is
going to land on the economy with about $100 billion
in service cuts and tax increases, undermining
federal growth strategies.

What the "federal growth strategies" are remains a mystery to me. I can't believe that the American public, if they were actually fully informed about what is going on, would stand for the way the Administration is handling the growing economic crisis. While the conservative agenda has always been "states rights" and removing "big government" from the federal level, it seems the neocons are now unwilling to allow for the reality that when they leave the states high and dry, their big plans are going to crumble because their foundation is cracking.

Our state is in the worst crisis its ever faced. I don't even know if Oregonians are aware of how bad it is. Jobs are being lost daily, corporate headquarters are fleeing the state, teachers are working for free (that's right, they're not being paid), and we're losing our wonderful and valuable state health care plan, and not to mention Medicaid, for the people who need it most. Add to that the federal cuts on Early Head Start, Veterans' benefits and a whole host of other services. In our county, we've got a special ballot coming up this month so we can vote ourselves a tax raise in order to literally save children's education, elderly people's care and welfare and to keep criminals in the justice system (instead of giving them citations and asking them nicely to not do that again). This tax hike is not to ADD money to the coffers, to BOOST the budgets for these social needs, no it's actually to save them from disappearing. Tell me, how can we live in a society where our very basic needs, that have to be provided by a government we elect, are simply coming to a halt? We can't. That's why we have to take the initiative, like here in Multnomah County, and save ourselves.

BushCo is not interested in saving the American people from these disasters. No, it wants to CUT taxes, thus decreasing the revenue the government will have to put towards rescuing us from a repeat of October 1929. But dress that boy up in a flight suit that he doesn't deserve to wear, send him around to factories where the working people there are barely getting any benefits and are lucky if they have any retirement, and let him tell bold lies like "this tax cut will boost our economy and create jobs!" and boy, isn't that a great way to run our country into the ground. Add to that BushCo's plan to eliminate pension funds, to erase the right to collectively bargain, and do away with the right to be paid for overtime above a 40 hour work week, and we are literally living in a time where our own government is trying to kill us. How did this happen? A lot of reasons. How will we stop it? Get off our asses, take charge of OUR governments, local, state AND federal. They belong to us, they are ours to change. How do we do that?


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