Posted by: SWL | April 7, 2011

Reid, Dems oppose cuts to special interests

Both houses of Congress, both political parties have wasted this week arguing over funding the government for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year. The difference between the Republicans’ and Democrats’ proposals equals about .3% of President Obama’s proposed budget for 2012. Common sense – which seems lacking in Washington – says the U.S. needs to cut as much spending as possible because the government is very deeply in debt.

The president said yesterday that he will veto any continuing resolution to fund the government for only a week or two. Why didn’t he use that tough love on Congress when this whole situation began in late February? Or when the second continuing resolution was passed the middle of March?

Yesterday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said,

“House and Senate Republicans need to make a choice. Will they do what’s right for the country by finding common ground on how to cut wasteful spending or will they cave to their extreme Tea Party wing by forcing a shutdown?”

A reasonable response: “Will the Democrats do what’s right for the country by finding common ground on spending cuts or cave to the special interests that fund their campaigns and who don’t want their government subsidies cut?”

Just a few hours ago, referring to the House rider to defund Planned Parenthood, Senator Reid said funding the rest of the year is not about women’s reproductive freedom. I agree.  This is not a debate about Roe vs. Wade. No one is trying to take away a woman’s ability to have an abortion. But it is about whether the U.S. government should be paying for abortions in Washington, D.C. or giving funds to Planned Parenthood. (Every federal dollar given but restricted to non-abortion services frees up an unrestricted private dollar to promote/provide abortions.)

According to its most recent annual report (fiscal year 2008-2009), Planned Parenthood earned $152.2 million for performing 332,278 abortions. They received over $360 million in taxpayer funds. Those funds plus private donations and income from clinics provided total income of $1.1 billion for 2008-2009**. Clearly, Planned Parenthood does not need our money.

Our government is like a family that has more expenses than income, and is holding off bankruptcy by putting purchases on credit cards. Our government funding Planned Parenthood is like that family deciding to give a couple hundred dollars to charity – on their credit card. That family might really want to help a charity, but they cannot afford it. Our government cannot afford to fund extras, no matter how much we/they want to. (Not to mention that Planned Parenthood, although having non-profit status, is not really a charity since they have earned profits from $55.8 million to $144.8 million from 2005-2009.***)

The same goes for National Public Radio and loan guarantees for green energy. Let the market determine who survives. Do enough people listen to NPR to keep it on the air? If the green energy companies are vetted and extremely unlikely to default on their loans*, why do financial institutions need federal guarantees on the loans?

The Democrats are using our tax dollars to make sure that every idea, every person, every company with which they agree will succeed even if  not financially viable. That must stop if we are going to get the federal budget under control.

A deal might be reached tonight. But it may still be worth sending a short e-mail to your elected officials tonight. If no agreement is reached, their staff might read your message in the morning and pass it on to your Senator or Representative.  If you hear tomorrow morning that they are still haggling, call Washington immediately and tell them to vote for the largest spending cuts possible.

* Reno Gazette-Journal, April 3, 2011, section F
 ** Planned Parenthood Federation of America Annual Report, 2008-2009
 *** various PPFA Annual Reports



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