Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Smells Like Bullshit, Part 3,456,789
There's not much meat on it anymore, but I've got a bone to pick. Maggie's mother posted this article on Facebook yesterday, and it riled me up. Actually, it didn't rile me up as much as make me sigh and grit my teeth and begin percolating. In a nutshell, California Children's Services Medical Therapy Program that serves disabled children, is on the chopping block again, and nearly 5,000 children will lose their physical and occupational therapies. The move will be carried out as part of a larger plan to balance the California budget which faces a $15.7 billion shortfall. Families making over $40,000 are being asked to pony up and pay their share.
Everyone has to sacrifice something, right? The policy-makers are said to have to make "very difficult decisions," but I smell bullshit. According to spokeswoman Michele Stillwell-Parvensky from the non-profit Children's Defense Fund of California, these cuts should be considered "cascading cuts, that have hit children -- particularly disabled -- in recent years as federal, state and local governments withhold money from school, health and childcare budgets." Just like the bone picked dry, the backs of these children with disabilities and their families are bent under the burden of incremental cuts made in the service of the "larger good."
I look around every single day and really don't see the sacrifices called for as being equally distributed. I see people driving enormous new vehicles that probably cost nearly $100.00 to fill up with gas that lasts for less than twenty miles. Many of these people believe it to be an American right to drive whatever car they desire. I see people buying multi-million dollar homes that demand enormous amounts of energy to heat and cool, their properties used as tax write-offs. Presidential contender Mitt Romney evidently has a three million dollar house in the tony coastal town of La Jolla that he is looking to tear down to build a bigger, eight million dollar one with a car elevator. But hey, here in America, if you make that kind of money, it's your right to spend it as you choose. And park it somewhere that you choose, too. The movie studio that produced The Avengers is paying one of its stars, Robert Downey, Jr., over $50 million for his role in the blockbuster, a movie that has pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars since it opened. And then there's the trillions spent in the decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the madness of bombing people and children, sacrificing young men and women with the fake objective of liberty and justice for all.
I'm not going to belabor a point that I've made over and over again. Balancing the budget on the backs of disabled children and their families as "shared sacrifice," is bullshit in this country. And if we can't come together as a people who know lives of the greatest economic and military power and luxury that the world has probably ever known and make cuts and sacrifices elsewhere, well then, we're pathetic.