Saturday, January 22, 2011

Let Them Eat Cake

Photo courtesy of
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer turned into Marie Antoinette yesterday, when she basically said "let them eat cake" in regards to the poor, the working poor, their children and the mentally ill.  You see, yesterday, Governor Brewer signed into a law authorization for her administration to ask the federal government for a waiver so as she can kick almost 300 thousand people out of Arizona's Medicaid program, ACCCHS, in order to cut $540 million from Arizona's budget.

As I discussed in my posting The Destruction of Arizona on Thursday, Governor Brewer and other Republicans are trying to balance the state's budget on the backs of those who need help the most: The poor, the working poor, their children and the mentally ill.  Instead of making the tough decision to raise taxes, they want to make way for further corporate tax cuts by eliminating a major social safety net.

What the fuck is Governor Brewer thinking?  If she gets the waiver, not only will almost 300 thousand men, women and children not receive Medicaid, the state will also lose about $3 billion in federal funding tied to Medicaid.  $3 billion sucked out of the Arizona economy when the state needs it the most.  She also will be putting a crushing burden on an already severely strained emergency room system as those 300 thousand removed from Medicaid wait until there is an emergency before they seek medical treatment.

This is "compassionate conservatism" or is it "starve the beast" run amok.  Is this how a civilized society behaves?  Cutting off resources for the most needy so as corporations can get another subsidy through another tax cut?  Are we saying to the masses, "let them eat cake" because I think that is what Governor Brewer has done.

I ask that you contact Governor Brewer and let her know where you stand on the issue of cutting Medicaid funding to balance the state's budget.  Please be sure to be civil and polite.  You can contact Governor Brewer through this web page - or you can send snail mail to:

The Honorable Jan Brewer
Governor of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007 

We need to stop this madness.  We need to appeal to the better angels and stop trying to fix the budgets on the backs of the poor, working poor, their children and the mentally ill.


  1. America and it's member states are flat broke with maxxed out credit cards. and Obama gave all the money to the banks.

    there is none left for us (get over it or join the anti-war movement)

    p.s. you have no right to complain when there is not a single word in your post about cutting back the imperial war machine that Americans have let loose on the world.

    war and medicare (you can't have both)

  2. Anonymous,

    Yes, the state is broke, but as I have pointed out before, its because of tax cuts. Besides, I have every right to comment on this issue, whether I agree with any wars or not. To say otherwise is not in the spirit of America.

  3. Why is it the government's responsibility to provide? Further, why forcibly extract money from the more fortunate to provide for the less fortunate? If this is to be done for compassionate reasons, then why isn't it done voluntarily? You can's assuage consciences through extortion

  4. therealchon,

    Because our own U.S. Constitution says that our government is to provide for the "general welfare" of its citizens. Maybe you and I read that differently and that's OK, that's what makes us Americans.

  5. In my reading of the Constitution, the general welfare clause operates with respect to the 18 enumerated powers of the federal government. I also disagree that "general welfare" means providing everything which citizens cannot provide for themselves. That seems to me to be a complete intrusion into private lives.

  6. therealchon,

    No, the general welfare clause does not mean the government should provide everything or even access to everything that a person cannot afford.

    Do you not agree with me that it is the poor, the working poor, their children & the mentally ill who will be hit the hardest by Governor Brewer's cuts to ACCCHS should the feds give the waiver?

    Do you not believe that their general welfare is just as important as yours? Or do you subscribe to the "I have mine, go screw yourself" philosophy that so many on the political and social right adhere to? I don't mind paying taxes to help those less fortunate, especially children, than I.

    Do you think its right that your tax dollars go to subsidize a new ball park or the expansion of a decades old multi-national company while denying even basic health care to those who can least afford it?

  7. My belief is both and neither. I feel that massive parts of life are under the thumb of government, and that is a travesty. There should be no government involvement in ball parks; that's a private business. Conversely, abortion is something that does not belong in the government arena. That's none of its business.
    And that's the crux of it. There is not an aspect of life that does not have the stink of government on it. I defy anyone to think of one. That is not liberty. That is tyranny. Particularly when a government decides this need must be met -- by them -- at the expense of everyone.
    I agree that helping the less fortunate is a wonderful thing to do. I don't believe its the government's place to do it for us.

  8. therealchon,

    "There is not an aspect of life that does not have the stink of government on it. I defy anyone to think of one. That is not liberty. That is tyranny."

    This is where I believe your argument falls apart. We are the government. Each and every one of us. But as "we" are also individuals, we each have a different idea of what our government can and should do, especially for the general welfare.

  9. No, the argument doesn't fall apart; and we may have been the government, but the apathy shown by the populace has allowed elected officials to think they lead instead of represent. Case in point: the federal health care law. The majority of people in this country said that while health care needed reform, that bill wasn't it. Not only was it passed, it was passed with no debate, without even being read. The message has changed from "what we want" to "what you need." Again, tyranny. And we did it to ourselves.

  10. therealchon,

    You are right, there are elements of the health care law that are not popular, such as the individual mandate. I am against the individual mandate because there is no option to purchase into Medicare at any age. You are against the individual mandate (which by the way was a Republican idea coming from the conservative Heritage Foundation) because you think it is unconstitutional.

    There was plenty of debate, months of it. There were those who attempted to stifle debate, but they came from the right at town hall meetings.

    But I see the law as flawed and a huge subsidy to the private for profit insurance industry, but not as tyranny.

    No, tyranny, to me, is the Patriot Act and its follow up. Tyranny to me is the concept of "if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear". Tyranny to me is warrantless wiretapping. Tyranny to me is SB1070 here in Arizona. Tyranny to me is the continued subsidizing of corporations while defunding important social safety net programs.

    I think you and I probably agree on more than you realize, we just come to those agreements from different angles.

  11. Absolutely. I believe there actually should be almost no governmental influence in my life, save for what's in the Constitution. I also appreciate a discussion that doesn't degenerate into name-calling, so thanks for that.

    I wholeheartedly agree about the Patriot Act. That was evil beyond measure. However, I can't back you on SB1070. My mother came to this country as an immigrant, and had to go through the process to become a citizen. She didn't complain; she held fast to her goal and accomplished it. I feel that all immigrants should follow the law. Simply being fortunate enough to have gotten into the country is not a good basis for citizenship. Don't get me wrong; it's not their fault they're in the situation they are. I believe many are being taken advantage of. But, had the state, the employers, and the immigrants followed the law, there would be no problem. Amnesty, to me, rewards bad behavior; better yet, round them up and give them a choice: go through the citizenship properly or leave. No mass arrests, no amnesty, just responsibility.

    Subsidies to businesses are a two-edged sword. The government doesn't create wealth, or even jobs, or generates anything for that matter. So providing incentives to create jobs is a good idea. Too many times, though, it's taken advantage of, or politicians create special breaks as a means of securing donations/votes. Sugar subsidies, milk pricing, bank bailouts, all perform the opposite of intent.

  12. therealchon,

    You will find that name calling is something that I cannot approve of. It doesn't further the intent of debate and is meant to stifle it, no matter who uses it.

    As for SB1070, I understand and agree with the frustration with illegal immigration, I just think that SB1070 is the wrong law to deal with it. I think both of us would agree that there are those on both sides of the issue who would rather have a political punching bag instead of a solution. I also think that is why the comprehensive immigration reform plan that Senator McCain once supported was a very good plan that went a long way toward addressing the issue of those already here. I don't think it was amnesty though.

    The Monday Memo for tomorrow will be addressing illegal immigration. I will hope you will take a look at it and I look forward to your comments.

    It has been a pleasure discussing with you our divergent views on the role of government, specifically for the "general welfare". I hope to have many more discussions with you in the future.


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