George Bush plans further cuts in government support to those who need it most in order to pay for his tax cut for the super-rich:
The Bush administration is preparing a budget request that would freeze most spending on agriculture, veterans and science, slash or eliminate dozens of federal programs, and force more costs, from Medicaid to housing, onto state and local governments, according to congressional aides and lawmakers. The White House also plans to reintroduce measures to stem the growth of federal health care and other entitlement programs that rise automatically each year based on set formulas, they said. The tough budget for the fiscal year that begins in October is intended to signal President Bush's commitment to reining in the record federal deficit, and to satisfying conservative critics who note spending has soared since Bush took office. "From a thematic standpoint, the goal is to reduce the deficit in half over four years, and you can't reduce the deficit if you don't reduce the growth of entitlements," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-N.H.). "If the president sends up an aggressive budget, I'll be certainly receptive to it, and I think the Congress will be, too." Budget and appropriations committee aides say Bush's budget -- to be presented Feb. 7 -- will be aggressive. Bush will impose "very, very strong discipline" in his 2006 budget, White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday. "That discipline will be there big-time."
Looks to me like from a thematic standpoint, Geoge Bush is apeing Charles Dickens. The rhetoric on an issue like this provides a great deal of credence for George Lakoff's thesis in Moral Politics that conservatism draws on the cognitive frames of strict father morality, whereas liberalism's frames come from nurturant parent morality. Notice all the talk about discipline and toughness to describe taking away the money poor people would use to become homeowners or students so that rich people can live that much more lavish lifestyles. As Lakoff writes in assessing a William Raspberry column comparing the D.C. city government to "the poor but compassionate mother with a credit card...[who]has to learn to say no":
In the metaphor, the government is an overindulgent, impractical mother and the citizens are her children. She has no self-discipline; she is indulging her children irresponsibly, using money she doesn't have...The moral is that Mom will have to learn self-discipline ("to say no") and self-denial ("to quality cuts of meat she can't afford"). Only then will she be a good mother... One could have taken the same budget shortfall and framed it in a different way...One could also have mentioned that it is the responsibility of Congress to see that the city is maintained properly and that it lives by a humane standard, indeed that it should set a standard for the country. One could then apply the metaphor of the government as parent to Congress, seeing Congress as a deadbeat dad, refusing to pay for the support of his children, the citizens of Washington, D.C. One could then have drawn the moral that deadbeat dad Congress must meet his responsibilities and pay, no matter how tough it is for him. This is just common sense - a different kind of common sense.


Post a Comment

<< Home