By Jesse Jackson – In his radio address and press conferences this week, President Bush highlighted the Senate debate and vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He didn’t mention that Congress is also geared up to repeal the estate tax — and hand a staggering trillion-dollar benefit to the richest of Americans.
Similarly, the president has been touting the “success” of his economic plans — profits up, stocks up, CEO salaries up. He has not mentioned that the Conference of Mayors reports rising hunger and homelessness in our cities. Or that wages for most Americans aren’t keeping up with prices.
The administration, desperate to shore up its own base, is back to posturing on symbolic issues — a constitutional amendment on gay marriage, a constitutional amendment on burning the flag — and throwing money at the affluent who pay for the party. Meanwhile, the poor are simply ignored. The cities abandoned. Working people slighted.
Bush’s budget simply abandons the cities. He would cut spending on a range of programs that go to the poor, the elderly and the disabled — Medicaid, education, day care, home-heating assistance, special food assistance. He says this is vital to bring down the deficits. At the same time, he insists on new tax cuts — largely for the very wealthy — that add more to the deficit than the cuts for the poor save. And he demands increases in military spending and homeland-security spending — even while cutting the programs for the poor … and … Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel economist, projects that the war in Iraq will cost over $1 trillion. Meanwhile, the Bush budget would cut funding for cops on the street, for child care, for health care for poor children. We’re making profound choices in the dark, distracted by our fears and forgetful of our values. We will pay a heavy price for this. (Read this long article on Share the World’s Resources).