Last week, I argued the Republican agenda was driven not by common concerns but by ideological zeal. Surveying the Senate’s new budget proposal, however, the second half of that interpretation looks less plausible. The harshness, even brutality, of this budget suggests another motivation: a razor-edged disdain for the powerless.
It’s worth going back over the plan just to fathom the magnitude of its nastiness. Republicans want to cut in half the number of times Medicaid beneficiaries in wheelchairs or with breathing tubes, from broken families or in silent nursing homes, can receive the care of a doctor. If they get their way, there will be $5,000,000 less to insulate a man from the baroque horrors of schizophrenia. Children will struggle to learn in classrooms of indefinite size. And adding insult to stinging injury, Berger sneers at previous fiscal efforts at decency as “failed attempts….to tax, borrow, and spend [our] way to prosperity.”
None of the foregoing language is hyperbolic. Just this once, Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. For by any decent standard, this plan is a disgrace. Every little number on the budget just released is a tiny little teardrop transformed into ink.