Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today's Republican Cuts: Not Equal Sacrifices

National Women's Law Center asks you to contact your member of Congress about the Boehner budget proposal:
The $1.2 trillion dollars slashed over 10 years in Speaker Boehner’s proposal would devastate programs that we care about – programs like child care, Head Start, K-12 education, Pell grants, job training, family planning and other women’s health services, and services for the elderly.

But that’s just the beginning. Speaker Boehner’s plan also requires an additional $1.8 trillion worth of cuts by the end of the year, which forces Congress’ hand even further. Dismantling the Affordable Care Act, cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits for current retirees, slashing Medicaid, or unraveling other key pieces of the safety net for women and families would be all but guaranteed. All this, without promising a single penny raised through additional tax revenues from those with the greatest means to pay.
You must have heard by now that "everyone must sacrifice" in this sudden perceived need for austerity.

What you are not told is whether the sacrifices are ever going to be equal. Some sacrifice practically nothing, others sacrifice practically everything. Calling for sacrifices from "all" means nothing if those sacrifices are left unspecified and if nobody ever checks whether someone sacrificed or not. Besides, the term "equal" in this context should mean that the sacrifice hurts equally. In practical terms this means that the wealthy could afford bigger sacrifices, in absolute terms, because even larger sacrifices would not leave them destitute.
P.S. And no, Boehner's proposal is unlikely to pass the Senate. But even as it stands, it moves the perceived "middle" to the right, especially given the opposition to it from the tea-partiers in his own party.