“House Republicans are home now decrying the “War on Christmas,” their houses festooned with lights and pretty red bows. It’s hard not to wonder if their Christmas spirit is blunted at all by the big lump of coal they recently gave America’s poor and working families. Republicans have wished the nation’s least privileged citizens a “Merry Christmas” by whacking our already anemic social safety net system.”
- Karen Dolan, Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies
[TomPaine.com - Tiny Tim v. Scrooge]
“Our basic moral principles tell us that caring for the vulnerable should be our first order of business before we provide more to the wealthiest.”
- Rev. Jim Wallis, Sojo.net
No Democrats voted “YES”.
Kudos to Republicans who voted their moral conscience: Lincoln Chafee, R.I.; Susan Collins, Maine; Mike DeWine, Ohio; Gordon Smith, Ore.; Olympia Snowe, Maine, along with one Independent: Jim Jeffords, Vt.
The truth from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorites:
Assessing the Effects of the Budget Conference Agreement on Low-Income Families and Individuals
LATimes.com: Spending Cuts Would Barely Trim Deficit
With Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) slamming the package as “a bill Scrooge would love,” all 44 Democrats and one independent were expected to [and did] oppose it…
…Much of the criticism of the measure came from groups speaking for the poor, the elderly and college students.
“The provisions … would cause considerable hardship among low-income families and people who are elderly or have disabilities,” said the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Medicaid recipients, particularly those just above the poverty line, would have to pay more for their healthcare or accept fewer medical services. Some could be forced to pay as much as $100 for services that now cost $3, the center said.
For elderly and disabled Medicare recipients, the premium that covers visits to the doctor would be increased.
Heckuva job, Dick ‘n Dubya.
The American public shares the blame for this immoral budget.
Our political leaders talk a good talk about allevating the conditions that lead to poverty, but after election day, we see little action. Poverty increases in our communities by the year.
Pro-rich policies are passed by the Republican party, who have been elected by a majority of Americans who attend church services on a regular basis. How does that make sense? Was Jesus pro-rich? Is God pro-rich?
We hear a lot of empty talk about values – but what about the values being represented by this clearly immoral budget? Where are Americans of faith in this debate? There is virtually no discussion or debate in the public square about the moral values that would guide our Representatives to reconcile public policy with social justice. What good are values when we toss them aside?
- In the middle class churches today, what is being touted as good, noble, and lofty? Why are the poor so often blamed for their own poverty?
- Is the middle class so removed, both literally and figuratively, from the urban and rural poor that they have forgotten the importance of God’s calling to serve the poor?
- We may never realize the full alleviation of poverty, but does that spiritually excuse us from trying to address such problems?
- Why are there literally thousands of references to poverty and/or serving the poor throughout the Bible, yet the Christian Right supports the policies of George W. Bush and his ‘rubber-stamp Republicans?’
- What about man’s propensity for social injustice, selfishness, greed, and prejudice? Why isn’t the Church talking about committing to economic justice and reconciliation in our congregations and communities?
These are questions we need to ask ourselves – especially as the Holiday season is upon us.
“Peace on earth – good will to men?”
Not with this budget.
Note: The budget reconciliation measure must now return to the House after the Senate failed to overturn a Democratic point of order against the bill that makes a minor change to the legislation. After the House and Senate each pass a version of the reconciliation bill, members from each chamber will meet in a conference committee to produce a final bill. After both chambers approve this final version, it will be sent to the president for his signature.