Saturday, August 17, 2002

Liberal Lighthouse - In the "Notebook" section of The New Republic (page 9 of the August 19 & 26, 2002, issue), there is a little gem under the heading "The Sheriff-of-Nottingham Party" which does not appear in the Online version of the magazine (at least, I can't find it), but which bears repeating in full: "At last the results of the Republican revolution are in. When the GOP took control of Congress in 1995, it promised to scale back government across the board - 'shared sacrifice,' as then-Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich put it at the time. Well, this week the Associated Press studied the changes in federal spending that have taken place under Republican control, and the outcome turns out to have been neither shared nor, from the point of view of Republican constituents, sacrifice. Rather, Congress mainly shifted programs away from Democratic districts and toward Republican ones. In the 1995 budget - the last one written by a Democratic majority - the average Democratic district received $35 million more than the average Republican district. By 2001 the average Republican district received a whopping $612 million more than the average Democratic one. This turnabout might seem like fair play but for one fact: Democratic districts tend to be poorer and thus in greater need of help from the federal government. These days they're not getting it. For six years Republicans have cut programs that help the struggling - such as child care food programs and public housing - and raised spending on programs that help the relatively well-off, such as farm subsidies and business loans. House Majority Leader Dick Armey offered this gloating explanation for his party's efforts at upward redistribution: 'To the victor go the spoils.' Now there's a moral basis for government."
Comment: So, not only does the party of George Bush want to give more federal tax money directly back to the rich through tax cut after tax cut, but the party of greed (I don't know how else one would describe it) also has made sure that wealthier Republican districts still get the much larger slices of a much smaller pie.

No comments: