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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Protect the unborn at all costs, abandon the born at all costs

The GOP have been flexing their muscles in Congress and in the various states where they now have majorities to chip away at abortion rights. In some cases proposed laws are horrifically neanderthal. (I will post separately on this). At the same time in their budget cutting friendly the GOP have been taking a hacksaw to programs that help people who follow their wishes and choose not to have an abortion.

Proposed budget cuts by Republicans both in Congress and at the State and lower levels are proposing huge cuts to programs that help low income children. It's a case of tough shit if you get pregnant, we'll create every obstacle possible to force you to give birth but then tough shit, you're on your own. Among the cuts proposed by Republicans in the House are

– Cutting $758 million from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which amounts to about a 6 percent cut to a program providing food assistance to low-income women and their infants.

– Cutting $210 million from Maternal and Child Health Block Grants, which amounts to about a 33 percent cut in a program giving low-income pregnant women, mothers and their children access to health care.

That's less thaan a billion dollars which will barely put a dent in the deficit but will cause irreparable harm to mothers and infants. Not considered by the GOP House are any cuts to the bloated defense budget, to $4 billion in tax rebates to oil companies who have recorded record profits over the past couple of years or a tax break that allows hedge fund managers to pay 15% in taxes instead of 35% which would generate an additional $20 billion a year in tax revenue. They pay 10% less than a married couple making $68,000 a year or a single person aking $34,000 a year. The argument that hedge fund managers would be reluctant to invest their money if they pay the 35% ordinary higher income mortals pay is pure bullshit because they never invest their own money, only their fund's money.

In yet another attack in the war against children is Head Start which provides early childhood education for low income parents. The Frederick County, Maryland, Board of County Commissioners voted to end the county’s contribution to its Head Start program, cutting overall funding for the program by more than 50 percent. Two Republican commissioners epitomized this neanderthal thinking, saying that women should be married and at home with their kids.

COMMISSIONER C. PAUL SMITH (R): I think its very significant that we did make this marriage week announcement today, because that is the best long-term way to help our children, as marriage is strengthened in our community. As many of you know, I had a lot of kids, and my wife stayed home, at significant sacrifice, during those early years, because she knew she had to be with those kids at that critical age. I know everybody isn’t able to survive doing that, but clearly, as we can strengthen marriage we can decrease the children that we have to reach.

COMMISSIONER KIRBY DELAUTER (R): My wife, college educated, could go out and get a very good job. She gave that up for 18 years so she could stay home with our kids, we had to give up a lot to do that. I agree again with Commissioner Smith, you know, the marriage thing is very important. I mean, education of your kids starts at home, okay? I never relied on anyone else to guarantee the education of my kids.

Their cold-hearted ignorance ignores all the realities of modern life. Nearly 40% of women are the sole breadwinners in households today while almost 63% contribute at least a quarter or more of the family income. In 1975 45% of families relied on the male parent as the only breadwinner, today that number has dropped to about 20%.

Repubicans are determined to ignore the real world in pushing their agenda. A permanent underclass of a struggling, less educated population deprived of nutrition, health care or education is their goal and don't even think about terminating a pregnancy because that would be against God's will. May they rot in hell wbile hedge fund managers get to live in a world where they can buy every luxurious toy and accoutrement and still have millions left over.

A long term study in California found that every $1 spent on Head Start generates $9 in benefits to society. Children who attend Head Start programs do far better in school than low income kids who don't attend Head Start. They are far less likely to commit crimes, These benefits include increased earnings, employment, and family stability, and decreased welfare dependency, crime costs, grade repetition, and special education.

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