The thing that is consistently galling me about Republicans these days is the way they look at budgets. To them, a government budget is numbers on a stack of papers adding up to total that is never small enough.
It’s okay for their wealthy friends to have numbers like that socked away in investments and bank accounts, okay for banks to hold onto trillions in cash and make no loans, because it’s all about money and who has the most.
But when it comes to Federal and State budgets, those are seen purely as expenditures. No more, no less. And they sure as heck don’t want to dip into the reserves of their wealthy friends with more taxes. No, they want to dip into the measly, non-existent reserves of the powerless.
By their fruits you shall know them. (Matt 6:17). While I’m not into using Biblical quotes to make my political points, I feel it appropriate this time as the religious right has long been a driving force behind fiscal conservatism, and maybe it’s time they started getting it thrown back in their face.
Because a budget, whether for a family, a town, a state or an entire country, is a moral document.
It is a statement of values, of what is important. It says what we will spend money on and what we will not.
The average family will budget for rent and food and clothing for their children. They will try to set aside some extra to take care of doctor visits because they believe medical care, housing and food are important to their families. If they are lucky, they may get to save some extra, and then will decide what to spend that on.
Usually life deals them something unexpected and that extra goes to repairing a car so they can get to work, fending off higher gas prices, or dealing with an unusual medical expense. They consider themselves lucky if they have enough to take a small, cheap vacation. But what always comes first in a family budget is caring for the family, most especially the children and the aging.
Our federal and state budgets are no different, and reading what the Republicans want, I can tell you their budget is a moral document we could rightly call evil.
They would let the unemployed go hungry, they would let people lose their homes because of a layoff or illness, and worse, they would let children of poor and median income families go without essential medical care they can’t pay for themselves.
They don’t think seniors are entitled to our care, either. Raising their medicare costs by $6-12,000 dollars a year means most of our seniors won’t be able to afford even the most basic of care.
But the Republicans don’t care, and rub our faces in further tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, people whose only moral document seems to be: I got mine and I’m going to keep it.
By their fruits you will know them, indeed. And their fruits are poisonous to the fabric of society, and abhorrent to all of us who care for others.