The President has drawn a line in the sand against extortion from Republicans, led by tea baggers, to gut government. Conservatives hate government, they hate what it does, they hate everything which good government stands for and they are bound and determined to turn us into Somalia. Following two rounds of continuing resolutions (CR’s) which made substantial cuts to spending, now they are insisting that Planned Parenthood and the EPA be defunded. This is outright extortion. They are holding women’s reproductive rights and clean air hostage while 800,000 federal workers are about to leave their jobs.
Our troops around the globe won’t get paid, you won’t get your passport or visa processed, paper tax forms won’t be done delaying tax refunds, national parks and museums will shut down along with everything else which is deemed non-essential. The tea baggers are celebrating this concept, they hate government to such a degree they refuse to compromise. A Member of Congress recently told me this new group in Washington refuses to budge and are single issue Congressmen: cut, cut, cut. They are not interested in anything except slashing spending and they refuse to compromise.
You cannot govern that way, you cannot be a responsible member of our society with such an attitude. Civilized people long ago realized the importance of government. This entire concept of cutting spending is insane. The deficits didn’t get where they are through spending (except for George W. Bush’s wars) but through tax cuts for the rich and the collapse of revenues due to the Bush Recession.
Wall Street caused this problem, Wall Street should be paying for it. The issue to be addressed is revenues, not spending. We can cut the $2 billion/week we’re spending in Iraq but I have yet to see any of these morons proposing that. Instead they are insisting on increasing Pentagon spending with items the Defense Department doesn’t even want. The bloated budget there is rife for cuts as are failed programs such as abstinence education and unconstitutional ones like faith based programs. If we’re going to cut we cut there, not by sending pregnant women to back alley butchers.
The tax cuts for the richest 1% of Americans were held hostage by Republicans just last fall. This budget didn’t get passed then because of that extortion. The huge revenue failures from that bill resulted in this debacle. Unfortunately Obama and Congressional Democrats caved in then but are now (they say) holding the line now. Let’s hope so. Americans watched in horror as Republicans in Congress cheered the idea of a shutdown. They understand who and what is behind this and they will vent their anger next year at the polls. I wouldn’t want to be a Republican running for office in 2012.
Update: As of 5 PM there remains no budget deal. Democrats have agreed to an astonishing $78 billion in spending cuts in a time when more programs are needed to assist those thrown into poverty by failed Republican economic policies, tossed out of their homes as a result of unregulated Wall Street casino gambits, $7 trillion in public employee pension funds were stolen by bankers and 1 in 4 Americans is going hungry. We need more spending, not less. We need another trillion in stimulus to create jobs and repair infrastructure, we need more teachers and smaller classes, we need more funds for food stamps and we need universal health care. Talking about another $78 billion in spending cuts is hugely irresponsible yet Dems are willing to do so to pass a budget. Republicans won’t even go part way to meet and forge a compromise.
The issue today is funding for Planned Parenthood. You all know I sit on the three Pennsylvania state Boards of Directors for this fine organization. I know what it is we do for women and I understand how many poor women rely on our services. No federal funds are used for abortion services, that is against the law. The funding being discussed is for cancer screenings, ob gyn exams, std testing and pap smears. Dayle Steinberg, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania released these numbers today:
Every year, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses nationwide provide:
· nearly one million screenings for cervical cancer
· 830,000 breast exams
· affordable birth control to nearly 2.5 million patients
· nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV testing
You can read more about Planned Parenthood here.
This isn’t about abortion because abortion isn’t covered by these government funds. It is about women’s health and women’s lives. It is an attack upon women, especially poor and minority women. There are ways we can fight back. Women, if your husband supports these Republicans tell him there’s no more sex. That’s something he’ll understand. If he’s unhappy tell him to let his fingers do the wanking. If you can’t get family planning services, access to contraception, cancer screenings or breast exams he can’t have access to your vagina. Let’s have nationwide lockout.