Hurting – Literally – Kids and Seniors To Protect Tax Cuts for the Rich

There’s no better illustration of the priorities of Arnold Schwarzenegger than this report from Shane Goldmacher and Evan Halper in the LA Times, explaining that this Friday’s May Revise is likely to include a proposal to eliminate health care services for children and the elderly:

Administration officials declined to reveal which specific programs the governor would eliminate. But officials involved in the budget process, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly, said they would probably include home healthcare for the elderly and disabled, a nearly $2-billion program that serves 440,000 Californians. Cuts that lawmakers and the governor made to the program in an effort to balance the budget have been blocked by legal rulings over the last year.

The article included a lot of whining from the governor’s office, including Susan Kennedy, about the fact that there is such a thing called “the law” and that these pesky, obnoxious people called “judges” are using “the law” to prevent the governor from destroying the lives of California’s elderly and children by denying them health care.

But the key takeaway here is about the cuts themselves, and not about the legal fight over those cuts.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing to eliminate health care for the elderly and for kids – risking the health and, ultimately, risking the lives of these people. And for what purpose? So that he can avoid raising taxes on the rich.

He believes that it is more important to keep taxes low on the wealthy than to ensure that old folks and children have the health care they need.

Such a proposal is beyond outrageous, it is inhuman. Sacramento Democrats should reject it outright. Californians do not agree with taking health care away from people who need it just to give the wealthy another tax break.

5 thoughts on “Hurting – Literally – Kids and Seniors To Protect Tax Cuts for the Rich”

  1. Perez and Steinberg need to tell Schwarzenegger that they will not submit a vote for a budget unless it raises taxes on the wealthy and large corporations and includes an oil severance tax, along with a few other revenue-enhancements.  Then Perez and Steinberg should get up and walk away until the governor agrees and can bring a few Republicans along.  

    This course of action should be adopted even if it results in the state government not paying its bills and shutting down.  Yes, in a shutdown people would not receive state services, but there won’t be many state services left if the governor’s cuts are enacted.

    Unless the Dems are willing to risk a government shutdown, the same thing will happen as last year; government services will be slashed, and the Dems will wring their hands about how they couldn’t do anything to stop it.  I don’t see how the short-term pain of a government shutdown would be worse than the long-term pain to which so many Californians will be consigned if the governor’s cuts are enacted.

    But based on Steinberg’s performance last year, I am not hopeful that he actually fight for us.

  2. Poorly researched by the LA Times. The state can’t “dismantle” Healthy Families anymore because of health care reform. They can’t make enrollment standards more restrictive or kick kids off.

  3. While your compassion argument is significant, it pales in comparison to the economic argument.  Between spending cuts, corporate tax increases, general tax increases, and tax increases on the rich, this last has the most beneficial economic impact.  The first three routes actually do reduce economic activity.  But tax icreases on  the rich have, on a net basis, a positivie impact. Why? Because by and large the extra taxes come out of savings by the rich, not spending.  The rich tend to maintain their lifestyle, which they can well afford to do, and to reduce their investing (saving) to offset their tax increases. It’s called the Marginal Propensity to Consume. So if you are making $500,000 (after taxes) per year and you spend $250K on lifestyle and put $250K into investments, you just reduce the investment to offset the tax increase.  THis has been studied time and time again, but it seems to be unknown in Sacramento.  Someone in the legislature needs to ask the Legislative Analyst to predict the economic outcome of tax surcharges at various income levels vs spending cuts.  Arnie is completely insane.  His program will damage the economy.  THe best program is to maintain spending and increase taxes on the very rich, at least temporarily, by any means necessary.

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