February 15, 2011

Good example of misplaced priorities

Obama is trying, I think, to negotiate with people who have no genuine interest in negotiating, and is doing so by putting some programs that he clearly values on the proposed chopping block. In the State of the Union, he suggested cutting community services, which, provides things like "job training, Head Start, housing, tax preparation and other services for the poor." Now we read that he is also interested in cutting heating aid for the poor.

I understand Obama's situation. But I think he falsely assumes that Republicans will negotiate. And I know I am often accused rightly of painting with too broad of a brush, but I really wonder if Paul Ryan gives a shit about that 72 year old blind woman who relies on federal help to keep from freezing in the winter. I don't want to believe that, but am not sure quite how else to read this.

My explanation for this is really unchanged. A) I think most people don't think of the ways that government has helped them. Like the people who benefitted from government subsidized education only to now want to cut those same programs. B) I think most conservatives therefore don't imagine government programs going to actually help people like themselves, but rather going to undeserving and lazy people.

I was going to say that the difference is between liberals who believe in shared opportunity and conservatives who do not. But that isn't quite accurate. I simply think that conservatives so over-estimate their own contribution to their success that they think efforts at encouraging success are wasted. After all, if they were able to make it to the middle class without any help, why should anyone else?

1 comment:

Bob said...

While I agree with the overall point of the article, I heard a good description of the home heating credit cut. Essentially, when heating oil prices were at their highest, the appropriation was increased. Now that the prices have dropped, the appropriation is dropping to where it began. In THEORY, it should serve the same number of people.