On the Backs of the Poor

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a statement about the cuts that fiscal conservatives in the Republican Study Committee have proposed in order to pay for Katrina reconstruction:

In particular, these proposals would place much of the burden of Katrina relief and deficit reduction on the backs of our nation’s poor, seniors, and people with disabilities, as well as on poor people in other countries through cuts in U.S. programs designed to combat global poverty and AIDS.

Indeed, the GOP plans to save a lot of money by slashing Medicaid, at a time when the program is more important than ever for providing health insurance to those who lose their coverage at work. Oh, and they’d like to slash foreign aid. Naturally, they title the report “tough choices in tough times.” Democrats and liberals, meanwhile, haven’t provided much in the way of alternatives, as far as I can tell (besides Nancy Pelosi’s noble-but-insignificant offer to sacrifice San Francisco pork). Perhaps they all think that James K. Galbraith has it right and deficits don’t really matter. Really, though, it’s easy to close the deficit—or at the very least, paying for Katrina—by rolling back Bush’s tax cuts and going after waste and fraud in the Pentagon, or useless military programs. A GAO report out today “found many inaccuracies [in Defense Department spending] totaling billions of dollars.” That seems far more worthwhile than gutting health care for low-income families. Defense spending, however, makes up the smallest of the cuts proposed by the Study Committee.

UPDATE: The Center for American Progress has its own proposal for trimming the budget. Not all of this is realistic, of course, just as the Republican proposal isn’t politically realistic. But in the abstract, it’s far more sensible.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate