Monday, March 23, 2009
Note To Blue Dog Dems About Budget
I want to direct this post to those in Congress known as Blue Dog Democrats, or "conservative" Democrats. To those of you in Texas and those of you in other states. It's time to step up and help your president, your party and your country.
There have always been Democrats like you -- even in the 1930s. But those conservative Dems in the thirties knew there was a time to show their conservatism and a time to help save their country, and they recognized when their country needed them. They swallowed hard and voted with President Roosevelt for the good of the country.
Well, the Bush conservatives in the Republican Party have run our country into the ground and thrown us into a serious recession that could easily turn into another Great Depression if it is not handled right.
President Obama has proposed his first budget, and it is a fairly large one -- as it needs to be to cope with the serious problems facing the United States. The Republicans almost unanimous response has been NO. After years of their own wasteful budgets that resulted in enormous deficits while only helping the rich, they all of a sudden want to cut the budget.
Please don't join in this subversive budget-cutting nonsense. Before you decide the president's budget is too large and needs to be cut down, please consider the following:
*The Republicans want our economy to fail, so they can claim that President Obama and the Democrats have failed. It is their only hope of surviving the 2010 election without even further losses.
*The people and most businesses have cut back on their spending. If the government did the same at this time, it would throw our economy into an even more serious tailspin and almost certainly bring on a Depression.
*One of the reasons the budget looks so large is that this is a real budget with all the expenses listed -- not one of Bush's phoney budgets that tried to hide the expense of two wars (and many other items).
*The president has included adequate funds in the budget to start the process of weaning the country off of carbon-based fuels, decrease our dependence on foreign oil and transfer to the use of cleaner and greener fuels. Many presidents have promised this, but only President Obama has actually included funding for it in the budget.
*The president has also included funds to start fixing our broken healthcare system. Over 40 million citizens don't have any kind of health insurance, and among those that do, large medical bills that insurance refuses to pay is the single largest cause of bankruptcies in this country. A good health insurance system that controlled costs and covered everyone, would not only help the citizens but also businesses (who are having trouble competing because of government healthcare insurance in other countries).
*For the first time in many years, our educational system will be adequately funded. Without a fully-funded and functioning public education system, how long would our democracy survive?
*The budget includes some cost-cutting measures by cutting unwarranted, ineffective and unnecessary programs.
*Further cutting would be realized by going back to competetive-bidding on all contracts (unlike the Bush administration that awarded non-competetive open-ended contracts to their friends and political supporters).
*More savings would be realized by the winding down (and eventual ending) of the Iraq War.
This is a large budget, but it is also a good budget. It is also a budget that addresses America's serious needs. Don't join with those who would cut this budget and hurt the country. Your president and your country need you to help pass this budget as it is. It will take political courage, especially for you "Blue Dogs", but it is necessary.