Pardon me Mr. Congressman - your tarnish is showing
EJ Dionne delivers the goods on Congressional corruption in his op-ed today. He notes, as we all anticipate, that Abramoff will likely deliver us into the year of the political scandals in 06. But he also notes special prosecutors can't rescue us from the "politics of favoritism that has created a new Gilded Age."
victims beneficiaries of the new "booming" economy.
Rarely does a single action by Congress serve as so powerful an example of how the system is working. The recent budget bill, which squeaked through the House and Senate just before Christmas, is a road map of insider dealing. It shows that when choices have to be made, the interests of the poor and the middle class fall before the wishes of interest groups with powerful lobbies and awesome piles of campaign money to distribute.In every debate, the moderates tried to exact savings by eliminating a small portion of corporate handouts but were voted down by the GOP majority who favored piling the costs of their vaunted tax breaks onto the backs of the poor and the working class. Dionne runs down the examples of pork barrel favortism to their corporate masters but perhaps the GOP logic on how the savings will accrue from their Medicaid cuts explains their priorities the best.
The Medicaid cuts include increased co-payments and premiums on low-income Americans, and the budget assumes savings because fewer poor people will visit the doctor. As Kevin Freking of the Associated Press reported: "The Congressional Budget Office has concluded that such increases would lead many poor people to forgo health care or not to enroll in Medicaid at all -- contributing to some of the $4.8 billion in Medicaid savings envisioned over the next five years."Taking into consideration the cavalier treatment of the mainly poor and black Katrina victims, it sounds like a polite way of calling for genocide to me. The good news is that due to a genius parlimentary move by Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad, the bill still faces one more vote in January. It's not too late to contact your Congress creatures and tell them to rethink their positions before they find themselves in the unemployment line with the rest of the