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GOP: Budget cuts target most vulnerable

Letter by Allen W. Ratcliffe, Tacoma on March 3, 2011 at 10:52 am with 33 Comments »
March 3, 2011 12:25 pm

I am trying to understand the values of the House Republicans’ proposed budget cuts, supposedly aimed at cutting unnecessary federal government spending and waste.

Their budget proposals cut deeply into human services, but they leave intact the historically generous government subsidies for oil companies, mining companies and corporate farming companies – all of which are quite profitable.

I don’t get it. What is their definition of waste, and does it have anything to do with social justice?

More accurately, I do get it but I disagree. Sustaining basic subsistence of people feels much more important to me, and much more just, than padding the profits of corporations that do not really need to be subsidized forever.

Leave a comment Comments → 33
  1. About a year ago, the News Tribune published a great chart on the top 20 employers in Pierce County. It was unforgetable. From memory, about 16 of the top 20 were some kind of government job. One of the remaining four was Multi Care. It goes to show the reliance of people in this region to live off the public dollar.
    As a taxpayer, I am getting really tired of paying for so many civil servants. And people wonder why there is so much sympathy for the Governor of Wisconsin. Its time for a culling of public jobs and programs to what is affordable and just.

  2. the3rdpigshouse says:

    The number of State, county, city, federal, etc. government employees has a direct relationship to the repeated election and reelection of socialist democrats at all levels of government in Washington State and the ignorant electorates support for the marxist/socialist “OH-Bummer” !!

    The private sector is rapidly becoming an unwitting accomplice to maintaining the self-seeking government employee/government cabal!!! Wake up citizens and study your history. The U.S. is trying to go the socialist route while many nations have taken our example of success and are using it successfully as competitors to the USA’s political & economic world standing !! Your future under “OH-Bummer” and his socialist democrat followers are destroying a once great nation!!

  3. Fibonacci says:

    No, it is not the socialist democtrats it is the nazi republicans. See, two can play at the name calling game.

    Did you even read the article? It asked why all of the cuts came at the expense of the average citizen, but things like farm subsidies are not being touched. Farm subsidies, really? They get paid money FROM TAXPAYERS to NOT grow food? And you don’t think THIS is socialist?

  4. Allen, I notice that in the third paragraph of your letter you use the term “social justice”. Please explain why your neighbors should provide you with “social justice”.

  5. “frosty says:
    March 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm
    Please explain why your neighbors should provide you with “social justice”.”
    Hmm! I wouldn’t expect you to know the answer to that based on many of your previous posts. So sad that we still have people with that kind of attitude in this great country.
    “Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.”

  6. madmike272 says:

    Your “social justice” is more like wealth distriibution, taking money from that earned it by force and giving it to some that didn’t.

  7. Why do you guys never complain about “wealth redistribution” when it comes in the form of corporate welfare?

  8. menopaws says:

    This group has no interest in creating jobs, as they said when they campaigned………It’s about promoting a “social agenda” that devalues the poor and the middle class……..But, again, oil subsidies (REALLY?) and corporate loopholes, defense spending left intact……….but, health care for the uninsured is “socialism”……..These people are actually pretty funny. There is an entire comedy routine to be built around their hypocrisy and the fact that they are bought and paid for by corporate America. Prostitution on the institutional level is always fun to watch. Trust me, this has very little to do with stimulating the economy to get Americans working and paying taxes again…….it’s all about keeping the economy in the dumpster until the next election……..If they wanted jobs—those Bush tax cuts, which are, according to them, supposed to stimulate our economy, would be doing their work right now…….Not happening is it? the rich just get richer and the rest of us must have our evil “entitlements” cut…………..Watching them con the voters is both funny….and very, very sad.

  9. Allen,
    Reagan made the American people enemies of the state in order to give America to the corporations. This is just the sociopathic ideology of the rightwing. The rank and file republicans are uneducated and easy gullible people. They are essentially exploited by the gop elite who feed them nothing but lies, myths and delusions.
    Fox News is the thought machine that tells these poor exploited people what they know for the day.
    Don’t forget Fox News won a lawsuit in Florida in which they argued it was their right to LIE to their viewers. 4 independent studies all concluded the majority of Fox News viewers are profoundly misinformed. We see the evidence in the comments in here.
    Here is a great article that describes the pathology of the gop.


  10. madmike272, “Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being.”
    That has nothing to do with income redistribution, but it does have to do with education and I suggest you get some for yourself.

  11. menopaws — I’m not going to debate politics with you, but I do want to point out why universal (national?) health care is indeed socialism.

    Health care isn’t a product. It is a service that real people provide, and they charge money for that service. Your typical doctor worked his tail off in high school while most of us farted around, then did it again in college while most of us drank a lot of beer and farted around, then went through 4 grueling years of medical school, followed up by another 5 sleepless years of residency and internship. Most doctors start their careers with six figures in student loan debts. My doctor is in his 60’s and for his entire career he has worked 12+ hour days visiting patients in the hospital before and after office hours, as well as during the lunch hour. His appointment schedule is full of people who can and will pay him what he feels his services are worth.

    Now, if the government tells him he has to see everyone, regardless of which type of insurance they carry (private vs public) he is going to have to push some of his current patients with private insurance that pays him well out to make room for those with public insurance that pays him squat. For this reason, almost every doctor I know is planning on retiring in the next few years. Forcing someone to provide their expertise to anyone who wants it is socialism.

    If the government wants to ensure everybody has health care, the government better start training doctors because the current doctors who have invested a ton of their own time, effort, and money getting trained in the private sector aren’t on board with this public plan.

  12. Roncella says:

    ronniew, the Liberals/progressives/dems, all have one goal that is to use wealth redistribution as a way to take from some who work and save and give to some who are lazy and will not work.

    President Obama has done alot to help push this thinking with his bankrupt ObamaCare bill he forced through the congress in the dead of night with only the democrats he pressured to vote for it. Not one Republican voted for bankrupt ObamaCare.

    Obama slipped while running for President and talking with Joe the Plumber, how he needed to work hard to start redistributing the weath in our Country.

  13. If all you “bleeding hearts” want social justice, go out and work for it. Don’t
    ask some hardworker to pay your way through life. I wonder how many of
    you “takers” are familiar with the “Great Depression.” I suspect you would not
    have been screaming for social justice. Go, Republicans, Go! “Drain the other half of the swamp”

  14. Fibonacci says:

    Listen to some source of news besides FAUX News. Obama care will not “bankrupt” the country. The present high and going higher cost of health care is what can bankrupt a family.

    As to that “wealth” redistribution, well it has been happening for years but it is going more and more to the rich and less and less to the middle class and the poor. A higher and higher percentage of the wealth in this country is going to fewer and fewer people.

    Your assmuption that the rich “work” for their money is not necessasily true either. Many wealthy people inherited their money and have never worked a day in their lives. I am not saying that they don’t deserve to inherit, but come on, they don’t all “work” for their mone.

  15. Madmike – rewrite “Your “social justice” is more like wealth distribution, taking money from those who earned it by force, and giving it to some that didn’t.”
    Rovview – there is a big difference between charging ‘money for a service’ and profiteering from the misfortune of others.
    Madmike – rewrite “Your “social justice” is more like wealth distribution, taking money from those who earned it by force, and giving it to some that didn’t.”

    Ronview, the last figures I saw places medical doctors as the group most likely to NOT pay off their student loans.

    Roncella, how about ‘taking form the haves to protect and repair our country from the ravages done in the name of unrestrained greed.

    Update on Healthcare reform: the same judge who ruled in unconstitutional, today refused to block its implementation

  16. Roncella says:

    Fibonacci, I think you have it back words.

    You need to stop listening and Believing all you hear and see on MSNBC and CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, late night clowns, letterman, stewart, sat. night live.

    You may find your health will improve and you will feel better about yourself and others. Liberal thinking maybe dangerous to your health.

  17. But it is so mine numbingly boring listening to FOX and Lushes.

  18. “Social Justce”! The newest buzz-word for the lefties. Where do they get the idea that someone else is responsible to give them anything? Uscha put it best, get off your butts and support your own family. Get this in your heads, nobody owes you a thing! Got it libs?

  19. Actually ‘SJ’ was brought up by a righty.

  20. xring — If you disagree with the way doctors conduct their business don’t patronize them. Go to medical school and take care of your own health needs.

  21. Or the government could dune their wages until the loans are paid off.
    Or turn the loan over to a collections agency. I also hear banks and credit lenders are good an collections.

  22. Mademike, the economic underpinning of ‘social justice’ is a ‘living wage’ the minimum hourly wage necessary for an individual to meet basic needs, including shelter (housing) and other incidentals such as clothing and nutrition, for an extended period of time or a lifetime.

    Note it is a wage which is compensation, usually financial, received by workers in exchange for their labor.

    Frosty, social justice/living wage as been around for about 160 years.

  23. xring — That minimum hourly wage necessary to meet basic needs depends on what the basic needs are. A young married couple can actually live on minimum wage if they are both working, thus making minimum wage a living wage. Trying to raise kids on that income doesn’t sound any fun to me, but people choose to do so all the time so who am I to knock their choices? I figure, go ahead and do it if you want, but since you picked it I don’t want to hear you complain about it.

  24. Pierce County WA, 2 adults, 2 kids
    Living wage $28.01
    Poverty wage $9.83
    Minimum wage $8.08


  25. The Mormons are big into social justice……wonder if Glenn Beck forgot that about his religion.

  26. xring — Yeah, so what kind of an idiot has kids when they only have the job skills to hold a minimum wage job? I’m beyond tired of being condemned for waiting to have kids until I could pay for them.

    bB — I’m not a Mormon but I have always been impressed with how they take care of their members in need. My friend lost his job and his church helped him out financially until he got another job. What I thought was very smart is that they didn’t give him cash. He brought his bills to them and they paid them and sent him home with groceries.

  27. xring — By the way, that living wage of $28.01 per hour is total BS. That works out to $58,260 per year or $4855 per month before taxes. I know firsthand of many families with children meeting all their basic needs on $30k or less per year. I guess your idea of a minimum standard of living includes multiple cars, cell phones, and cable TV, but I know several families who get by with one car, no cell phone, and movies from the library for the kids.

  28. Ronview you are a perfect example of a country club republican. – higher than average income or wealth, lack of sympathy for lower income citizens, and an over developed sense of self worth.

    In 2006 the average income in Pierce County was $78,335, and $58,260 is at the low end of the salary scale for a JHS English teacher in Puyallup, and we know how over paid they are.


  29. alratcliffe says:

    I have been surprised by the range of comments my original letter generated. Thanks to all.
    I think the key concern expressed by many of you was that it is not fair to take the tax money of hard-working people and give it to those who do not deserve it. Those of you who expressed that concern mostly applied it to individuals who do not deserve public assistance.
    I see only one important difference between providing public assistance to a person who does not need it and providing a government subsidy to a profitable corporation that does not need it.
    The profitable corporation that does not deserve it gets a lot more of your money.

  30. xring — Nope, you’re wrong. My income (which is our entire household income) is below the average for Pierce County, and yet by being frugal we are able to live in a nice house, drive two sound vehicles, and send our son to an excellent Christian school. We buy what we can used and waste very little and our money seems to go farther than other people’s.

    You are right about my not feeling too much sympathy for lower income people. I don’t think they are looking for sympathy. I was low-income for years. It’s called starting at the bottom and paying your dues while you work your way up. See, I think this whole housing and credit crisis was created by people who for some reason thought they were entitled to meet or exceed their parent’s standard of living right off the bat. People start at the bottom. That’s what we do. It’s not to be pitied, it’s normal.

  31. Ronv, congratulations on your frugality. If I were to guess, I would say you are a teacher.

    I thank the housing/credit crises cannot and should not be blamed solely on the homebuyers. The realtors and lenders who convinced people they could afford more house than they actually could and who wrote all those sub-par mortgages have to shoulder a large part of the blame. As does Wall Street who sold all those mortgage back securities

  32. xring — Nope, I’m not a teacher. Hang on to your hat for this one — I’m one of those lenders! Mwah ha ha haaaa…. I didn’t strike it rich during the heyday because I absolutely refused to write sub-prime mortgages or ANY mortgage that did not benefit the borrower. I passed on purchase transactions where the price of the house was inflated to cover the buyer’s down payment. I watched America run up their credit cards and transfer the debt to their homes and decided that was NOT going to be us.

    Because of my ideals, I earned a lot less money than my co-workers during the boom, but I am in a better position than most of them now because I did not take on debt based on a temporarily inflated income. I used to get teased for being frugal in a time of plenty. Nobody teases me anymore. About that, anyway.

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