The President himself refers to his constituency as “the haves and the have-mores,” according to this excellent article by Paul Krugman in Rolling Stone, in which Krugman lays it all out as to why middle-class Americans are getting screwed by our GOP government. Krugman makes the argument that, with Bush in charge, we are heading toward a government much more similar to the corrupt, wealthy-family-controlled countries of Latin America. Krugman also reminds us why almost no one gets an increase in wages that beats inflation: because CEO’s now make 5 times what they made in the 1970’s. And yes, that’s after adjusting for inflation.
Sheldon Whitehouse takes aim at the President’s budget in a way that echoes Krugman’s concerns for the well-being of middle-class Americans. From Sen. Whitehouse:
â€œThe Presidentâ€™s plan demands higher out-of-pocket health care payments from military retirees, veterans, and Medicare beneficiaries, and significant cuts in funding for critical health care initiatives like Medicaid and the State Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) will put many low-income families in Rhode Island at risk of losing their health insurance.
â€œWhile the Bush budget proposes increasing the maximum Pell Grant award, it would completely eliminate the federal Perkins loan and federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants for higher education. And with an overall 17.5 percent cut in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Rhode Islandâ€™s share would likely drop $5.6 million from fiscal year 2006 levels.
â€œThis Presidentâ€™s budget demands close scrutiny and tough questions. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Budget Committee and in the Senate as a whole to address our real priorities and put the country back on a more sustainable fiscal path.â€?