State lawmakers have approved competing budgets for the 2004-2005 biennium that would deny government assistance and medical care to hundreds of thousands of children and low-income adults.
Here are the figures from the Center for Public Policy Priorities (a radical group that thinks public policy priorities should be about helping people in need):
"The Senate Finance budget in 2005 would eliminate Medicaid or CHIP coverage completely for over 211,000 persons; cut benefits (e.g., Medicaid drug coverage; HIV drugs; community care for aged, disabled, mentally ill, and mentally retarded persons) for more than 398,000 Texans, and reduce projected enrollment growth in children’s Medicaid by over 298,000. "
Our lawmakers are willing to put up with these draconian cutbacks all because they refuse to even consider raising taxes to cover shortfalls in government revenue.
I don't resent paying taxes like many people do. I just resent the way the government chooses to spend most of it. The Pentagon budget is above $400 billion a year and continuing to rise 10 percent every year. If we funded education like we fund our military - as if that would ever happen - well it just boggles the mind to think about it, but if we did I bet that our students wouldn't be constantly falling behind other nations when it comes to basic math and science skills.
Meanwhile, here in Texas, our legislators have voted to toss out our "Robin Hood" school funding system without having anything ready to replace it with. But our Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is ready with a plan that would, he says, cut property taxes in half and make up the difference by jacking up sales taxes and expanding them to cover everything from child care to media advertising. Good news for those wealthy enough to own substantial amounts of property, but if you are renting and apartment don't expect your rent to go down anytime soon.