Proposed state budget is simply un-Christian

Published 4:46pm Monday, April 16, 2012

I keep hearing my Republican colleagues talk about their Christianity; yet, this past week they showed the opposite by passing one of the most un-Christian budgets I have ever seen.

As a Christian, I could not vote yes for a budget that would hurt more people than it would actually help. The Alabama House of Representatives passed a general fund budget that endangers the lives of thousands of Alabama’s children, families and seniors. The cuts in this budget are so severe that eleven Republicans went against their own Party’s leadership and joined House Democrats in voting against this budget.

The cuts in this budget include cutting or eliminating funding for healthcare programs, nutrition and food assistance programs and public safety.

One of the most significant cuts in this budget is a 30 percent cut in funding for Medicaid, a joint federal and state healthcare program for children, the disabled and nursing home residents.

Last week, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bentley called these cuts to Medicaid “irresponsible,” while Dr. Pippa Abston, a pediatrician from Huntsville, has said these cuts will cause children in Alabama to die.

The cuts to Medicaid also endanger the health and lives of thousands of adults in Alabama. Because of these cuts to the Medicaid’s budget, many elderly people will be forced out of their nursing homes, patients will no longer receive the necessary medications and services such as hospice and dialysis may be eliminated. Blood will be on the hands of those who voted for this un-Christian budget.

But cutting Medicaid’s budget is not only “irresponsible,” it is also foolish. For every dollar the state spends on Medicaid, the federal government matches it at a rate of more than two-to-one. By cutting $175 million from Medicaid’s budget, Alabama is leaving at least $525 million on the table. In addition to the Medicaid cuts, this budget cut more than 32 percent from the Department of Public Health, including funding for early detection of breast and cervical cancer, leaving thousands of women at risk.

Alabama’s children are especially penalized by this budget. This budget also cut more than 24 percent of funding for the Department of Human Resources. The Department of Human Resources oversees programs such as child support and food assistance. Without adequate funding, many families may be put in jeopardy because of delays or clerical errors with their child support or food assistance cases.

On paper, it appears that the Department of Corrections, which oversees the state’s prison system, is being cut by more than 10 percent, but the Senate has used a backdoor approach to return that amount to the Department of Corrections.

It appears the Republican Supermajority is more concerned about incarcerating individuals than caring for the elderly in state-funded nursing homes.

Alabama’s children, families and seniors deserve better than what they are getting in this budget.

  • popdukes12

    “Proration” dictates cuts. Would you rather the state go into debt (like the federal government)? Had they cut education, you would be “hollowing” about that. Old folks used to live with their family before medicad.
    You are representing a poverty district that is not self sustaining. Alabama is amoung the top states receiving far more money from the Federal government than it pays in. Had Alabama not received so much stimulus money in ’09 and ’10, these cut would have come two years ago. Things are tuff out in the real world and your district has been on the receiving end of benefits and it doesn’t look like they used these entitlements to “catch up” with the rest of the state. Entitlements can’t last forever. pops

  • D-man

    our country is in for “rough times” in the future Darrio. you are only seeing the beginning of a country that is in trouble financially. right now, you believe that republicans are evil creatures, but what you need to see is that country is in serious debt, and is on a course that leads to bankrupcy.

    Bankrupcy means either one of two things:

    1) all entitlements stop because their simply isn’t money in the budget to pay politicions salaries and entitlements such as what happened with the city of prichard. Yes, read about the retired firemarshall there who died in his house after his city retirement check quit coming in the mail and he was too young for social security. Both his water and power had been cut off.

    2) hyperinflation caused by “printing money” instead of bring it in through taxes by taxing the private sector. we see the private sector has diminished in “signs” such as the current administrations “class warfare”. Even in the Travion case. Some thing it’s about race, and it is to an extent very divisive, but it’s really carrying the same theme as class warfare, occupy wallstreet, anti-elite…

    simply put we are entering a new stage. don’t let your emotions get so involved that they do not let you see what is really going on. the baby boomer’s are retiring which means several very important things…. 1) a very large group of people are retiring and there statistically has been less children per working family that are being born today to replace those private sector jobs, therefore LESS social security tax is going into the social security fund while at the same time there is a MAJOR amount of money now coming OUT of the funds in the form of checks to a very large group of baby boomers. President Obama wants us to collapse the system even quicker because he DECREASED more money going into the fund by decreasing the social security tax even more by 2%… again, LESS MONEY going into the fund while MORE MONEY is going out…

    Say what you want but both Bush Jr and Obama both told us the same thing “SOCIAL SECURITY IS ENDING”… they told us in two ways:

    1) bush told us by promoting the deletion of MANDATORY social security tax being took out of our checks. Obviously doing this at the same time as the baby boomers are retiring would bankrupt the system since SS is a ponzi scheme anyway. LESS MONEY GOING IN AND MORE MONEY GOING OUT = BANKRUPCY

    2) obama told us the same thing by decreasing the social security tax (saying he wanted to “stimulate the economy”) by 2% which equals to the same result. LESS MONEY GOING IN AND MORE MONEY GOING OUT = BANKRUPCY

    Now, since you’re all “religious” and all… I am a Christian myself and grace covers my faults… and I admit they are there, and you will see them from time to time, but let’s talk about you’re Christianity for now…

    Remember all of that political talk about military checks and social security checks “stopping” if an agreement wasn’t made? It never said anything about your check stopping…. I never heard any of that talk… also, have you noticed what your collegues are making in salary? Do you know what the people on social security and in the military are making on average?

    Let me ask you this… brother to brother… What happens when people on fixed income who have worked their entire lives paying social security and have a very humble life, humble house, car etc who depend on thier social security check “religiosly” (no pun intended).. what happens when the check quits coming such as the fire marshall that had no family or friends to help him pay his bills in Prichard?

    Get your sh$t together Dario. You can get yours together, but to fix the problem, you have to get the others together also… but don’t get you’re hopes up because there are too many politicions willing to spend other people’s money… you are basically robbing the old, so the true test to your Christianity will be when it comes down to it, will you forfeit most of your salary so that old people can continue to receive the check they have worked for their entire life?

    p.s. social security is not an entitlement… those people could have envested teh money taken out of their checks by the goverment into mutual funds and have MILLIONS in their retirement accounts by the time they retired… but instead, politicions missmanaged their retirement.

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