Thursday, March 3, 2011


"As Congress considers potential federal budget cuts for the upcoming year, the nation's Catholic bishops warned again that the proposed reductions would hurt the poor – both in this country and overseas.

“These are drastic cuts – draconian cuts – that disproportionately target the poorest people,” Bill O'Keefe, Senior Director of Advocacy for Catholic Relief Services, said on Feb. 23."
Catholic News Agency

OK, we get it. The Congress, at least the Republicans, are trying to cut $60 billion out of a $3.84 trillion budget. That's what, 2%, or less? These numbers are so big my grade school math skills fail me. Regardless, these cuts are less than a drop in the bucket. So to call them draconian is an exercise in hyperbole. But we've come to expect that haven't we?

I wonder how Director O'Keefe would solve the problem. Print more money? The economy will collapse. Cut military spending? I'm all for it. Bring our troops home, screw the rest of the world. Of course, that would have a major impact on the poor of the world as dictators and despots fill the vacuum left by the departure of our military. But even this won't stop the collapse. It'll just push it back a bit, or accelerate it, depending on what oil prices do as radical Muslims seize power and the oil fields.

The only way to maintain our sovereignty, thus our ability to help the poor is to reign in our spending, and not by 1 or 2 percent but by something a bit larger, say 40-50 percent. To do that we have to start talking about entitlements because they're the real gorilla in the room, the thing that really makes our economy completely unsustainable, and I'll bet that Mr. O'Keefe will really get upset if we touch anything there.

So to all the Mr. O'Keefe's out there, get over it. All the special interests need to realize that if we don't make "draconian" cuts there won't be an America left. And no matter what else happens, without America the poor will suffer to a much greater extent.

We can't have it both ways anymore; the day of reckoning has arrived. If we don't do what we have to and get our house in order we won't have a house to argue about. The fantasy of limitless resources has come to an end. For the rich and the poor. And the rest of us, too

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