Republicans hold President Reagan as the father of modern conservatism. Many speeches and campiagn rhetoric by Republicans seeking to be elected point towards how much they are like the former Commander in Chief.
However, that is quite often where the comparison ends. Republican lawmakers seem to take the parts of Reaganomics that fit their agendas, while casting off the important parts that dealt with the common citizen. Military spending and corporate welfare were the trademarks of the Bush and Cheney years, and a growing of the Federal budget was the legacy of Reagan that the Republicans can take claim to when they were in power.
Two years later, the Republicans have a chance to correct the mistakes of 2004 – 2008, but it appears that politics once again is trumping the needs of the citizens of this country. Abortion, and the use of federal monies is a platform that the Republicans usually adhere to, and it is no different in what they hope to remove from the Federal budget in this years proposals. Yet, the pro-life party is also seeking to cut subsidies that are vitally needed by lower income families who chose to bear their children, instead of eradicate them through medical procedures.
In an article yesterday in the Seattle PI publication, House Republicans are looking to drastically cut WIC programs that are vital to the nations poor in raising their young children. Even though it was Reagan himself who created this program for the American people.
“We need to protect human life from the unborn to the elderly,” Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Penn., chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, said recently. Pitts has headed the Values Action Team, a House caucus concerned with pro-life and pro-family issues.
When it comes to spending on children and health and the elderly, however, House Republicans’ new budget is The Pitts.
The budget axe is about to fall on, to use Ronald Reagan’s line stating his opposition to abortion, “those who have already been born.”
Women, Infants and Children was the one new, bipartisan social program passed by Congress and signed into law by President Reagan. (Then-Rep. Mike Lowry of Seattle was a lead sponsor.) House GOP budget writers have targeted it for a $758 million cut.
WIC provides federal money to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education for low income women, and to infants and kids under 5 who are at nutritional risk.
Hypocrisy knows no bounds when it comes to politicians, and this spending cut proposal is no exception. How you can speak out of one side of your mouth that we need to protect the unborn and the elderly, while on the other side impose budget cuts that directly influence that protection without providing any new option for the impoverished in American is quite disturbing.
Does the amount of welfare and subsides given to Americans need to be addressed as the governments budget escalates out of control? Absolutely. But it is almost criminal to abruptly eliminate those subsidies to a large portion of Americans without providing for, or slowly transferring the responsibility to another program or entitiy.
There are many other areas of the budget that can make up for the minimal $1 Billion that the GOP is seeking to remove from subsidies to the poor that are vital to Americans, especially as unemployment is still raging in the economy.
In the end, the very same Republicans who claim the mantle of the former President need to ask themselves, what would Reagan do?