Category Archives: Cuts to social service programs


Wealth is finite. There’s only so much to go around.

When a nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, the rest of its citizens are left with little more than long days of struggle, painful progress and unattainable dreams. We see it in the Middle East, in Africa and Asia, and in Third World countries where rulers and their cliques soak up all the wealth like so much gravy.

And we are seeing it today in America.

It won’t be long before we reach the tipping point, when students won’t have money for college, cities won’t have money for schools and libraries, governments won’t have money for basic services, and the poor won’t have anywhere to turn.

It seems as if we’re living in a Charles Dickens novel where the same Dickensian actors—greed, hard-heartedness, self-righteousness and moral vacuity—have once again stepped center stage to suggest, by their actions if not their words, that it might be better for the poor to die and decrease the surplus population.

No matter that those actions are thinly disguised behind Big Lies repeated over and over by agents and tools of the wealthy—by newspapers and TV stations owned by the rich, by a political process controlled by the rich, by sound bites and legislation pushed by rich politicians—that taxes are unfair, that the wealthiest among us have no obligation to assist the poorest, that government exists to protect wealth rather than its citizens, and that the surest way to help the poor is to advance the purpose and cause of the wealthy.

How can we still be talking about trickle down economics when so little wealth ever actually trickles down?

If you accept one basic premise—that wealth is finite—then all the financial, economic and social upheaval in our country starts to make sense. There isn’t enough to go around when one sector gets a lock-tight grip on the purse and the purse strings. Once that happens, with so little left on the table, those of us who aren’t rich find ourselves battling each other for an ever-dwindling share of the pie. Programs compete against programs. The needy compete with the needy. Infants battle the elderly and the poor for nutrition allocations. Recovering alcoholics challenge the homeless and the disabled for shelter dollars. Sesame Street scraps and claws for funds also needed to regulate Wall Street. All the while, the public sector continues to implode.

What’s happening in Wisconsin today is merely the edge of the scythe as it begins to mow down the social contract we grew up with and came to expect from a civilized society. Collective bankruptcy is the problem, not collective bargaining!

The recent extension of tax breaks for the wealthy was beyond obscene, as are the bone-deep cuts to government programs now being proposed. By protecting their excessive assets, the wealthy among us are endangering the lives and livelihoods of so many others. Children will go hungry; students will forego college; retirees will see their pensions cut; people will lose their jobs and homes; many will go without winter heating fuel; cities will lay off police, teachers and firemen; while the health of our poorest citizens will dramatically decline—all so that a small group of wealthy individuals can amass and accumulate ever more and more money.

Tax the rich or kill the poor? What would Charles Dickens have done?

How about Jesus?


Breaking News: Noted local writer and very minor celebrity Paul Steven Stone joined a growing list of talentless wannabes to bare skin and a hint of nipple in a shameless attempt to draw attention to his current blog posting. When asked how far he would go in his efforts to attract unwarranted attention, Stone remarked, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

In other news, President Obama released his newly proposed budget earlier this week and sent a shock of alarm reverberating across the country. Reporters from The New York Post went out among the population to gauge the impact of Obama’s draconian cuts to many of the country’s most basic safety net services.

First to respond was Madonna who assured her worried fan base there was nothing to fear from the elimination of the government’s infant nutrition food program. Just back from adopting one or two new infants in Malawi, which is somewhere in Africa or Asia, the Material Girl expressed confidence, after consulting her Kabala soothsayer, that she and her brood of adopted children could comfortably get by on her income and assets, barring “a flood or a nuclear holocaust.”

When asked about her concern for the loss of all Public Broadcasting System funding, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, star of Jersey Shore and author of an eponymous tell-all memoir in which she never explains how she could pack 55 years of stupid behavior into a 23-year lifespan, also hastened to assure her worried fans. “Yes, there was talk of my hosting Masterpiece on PBS, but I don’t think it was a ‘shore’ thing, if you get my meaning.”

For those concerned about the drastic cuts in home heating assistance and community health programs, Fox News commentator and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman suggested “We could kill two birds with one stone if all the poor people in northern America would just move south. C’mon guys!” she added, in an attempt to spur immediate action.

Lastly, when asked if he had any concern about possible cuts to student tuition grants, community policing funds and worker retraining programs, Donald Trump, who recently teased about a possible 2012 run for the Presidency, said, “I know it’s tough, but I don’t see any other way to assure a second round of tax cuts next year. Much as I hate to say it, we probably can’t afford food stamps either.”

Tune in next week to see how far President Obama, the Republicans and Paul Steven Stone will go to shamelessly pursue their funhouse mirror vision of the American dream.

C’mon guys, keep your pants on!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t take seriously an administration and a political party that scream for budget cuts after giving away the store in tax breaks to America’s wealthiest and greediest citizens. Wealth is finite, so it is only fair to point out that children will go hungry, students will forego college, people will freeze in their homes and the health of our poorest citizens will dramatically decline so that a small group of wealthy individuals can amass even more money. It’s unfair, it’s outrageous, it’s egregiously cruel and uncaring, and it’s roaring down the track so fast we hardly have time to wonder how we ever came to be so selfish. If this is the American Dream, please someone wake me up!