An ‘internal’ Senate Committee memo detailing the latest cuts in the cross hairs of a gang of Senators led by, ahem, Democrat Ben Nelson and Republican Susan Collins include the following:
- Head Start (I can’t imagine why enriching programs that target disadvantaged children would have any long term benefit anyway);
- Education for the Disadvantaged (well, giving the little ones a glimmer of hope is probably more cruel than none at all);
- School Improvement (let’s see – the jobs it would provide to improve crumbling schools PLUS American children getting a leg up in a global economy? Nah. I hear they are converting the bathrooms into classrooms – that cuts down valuable teacher time filling out hall passes.);
- Child Nutrition (By all means, the US fell to 29th in infant mortality in 2008. We were ranked 12th in 1960. Child nutrition seems a perfectly good place to take the money away);
- Firefighters (Anyone remember 9/11? Anyone?);
- Transportation Security Administration (Will this mean I won’t be ordered to all but strip each time I go through the metal detectors at the airport? No, removing my shoes and making sure I have no more than 4 oz of shampoo is now our only defense against the terrorists);
- Coast Guard (They are building a fence across the American-Mexican boarder – with CHINESE steel – but they don’t want to fund the men and women who patrol the NY Harbor?);
- Prisons (well with the tanking economy, I am sure we won’t have need for additional funds for this);
- COPS Hiring – Community Oriented Policing Services Program (This actually makes a lot of sense in relation to the previous cut. I mean, why have more police if the prisons won’t be funded?);
- Violence Against Women (Bad economy, millions unemployed and frustrated. I’m sure none of this will have an affect on the number of women beaten.);
- NASA (It might surprise a few that regardless of our economic situation – I think we should support NASA. First, the technology and discoveries they make have drastically impacted our lives – and far more than even the non-stick pan. But we have got to have something to strive for and inspire us. I think there is a place for NASA and I don’t mind the jobs it creates either.);
- NSF – National Science Foundation (I thought we just got done hating science. Is that back in fashion again? My god, that was quick!);
- Western Area Power Administration (Ok, I had to look this one up. But from what I can tell, we may want to fund hydroelectric power. Or are we ok with relying on Saudi Arabia? And the report I briefly read indicated that the WAPA – besides having a cool acronym, helped get California out of the energy crisis it was having a few years back. And again – this is infrastructure. This program represents green jobs.);
- CDC (They got me on this one. I can’t think of a snarky defense for them.);
- Food Stamps (Let’s do the math: 3.6 million jobs lost since this recession began, 600,000 jobs lost just in January = cutting funds to food stamps. Brilliant.)
All of these eliminations will save us a cool $80 billion.
And what are they looking to reduce?
- Cut $3.4 billion from public transportation; and
- Cut $60 billion from school construction.
Figure out your own commentary about this and tell it your Senators. Switchboard number is: (202) 224-3121