Sunday, February 13, 2005

Topic of the Week - Bush's Budget Proposal; Is it Ethical?

There are some hot and controversial issues within the budget that Bush proposed last week; 150 programs targeted for cuts or elimination, making the tax cuts in Bush's first term permanent, why were social security "reform" and the escalating cost of the Iraq War not included in his budget proposal, etc. The question begs - what is really going on here?

One must identify the overarching objective by this regime that started four years ago with an actual intention of increasingly building the deficit. Yes, an intention of increasing the deficit. This underlying conservative agenda is not new (remember the Reagan deficits) and one of its primary objectives is to eliminate many social programs in order to concentrate more dollars within the conservative preferred programs; defense spending, tax incentives, faith-based programs, etc.

"Selling" cuts in social programs to Congress and the American people, without a large deficit, is virtually impossible. However, with a year by year increase in the deficit supported by the aim to increase defense spending because of the "need" to wage war, selling the need to cut social programs can now be leveraged by the conservative base in order to seemingly outline a budget that will reduce the deficit and balance the budget. It is interesting how Bush & Company are now declaring alarm on the increasing deficit. No surprise here if you truly understand the overarching objective to realign public policy in this country - it is deceptive, yet potentially effective in reaching their end result.

The end result is simply a difference in value systems in reshaping our country's foundation. Not necessarily just the value systems focused upon by the media after the election which as we know were primarily the Christian Right's religious beliefs enflamed by Karl Rove. But the additional value system differences between conservatives and progressives.

Conservatives simply believe the betterment of our country is concentrated in power within the executive branch and within larger, multi-national corporations increasing the U.S.power and dominance internationally seemingly leading to both economic and individual security domestically. Note - this conservative value system aligns with The Christian Right's belief system where the head of the household is the man and where discipline, protection and decisions are made.

Progressives simply believe the betterment of our country is a more balance of power within judicial, legislative and executive branches of government that serve all classes of people domestically and nurture foreign relations to align in a focused agenda of economic prosperity and peaceful security.

Obviously, the difference in values between conservatives and progressives is more complex. But the polarization of this country is truly a stark contrast in values and Bush's proposed budget is demonstrated in this conservative value system. All of you have been reading and will continue to read/watch the news on this topic over the coming weeks. I invite you to expand upon this topic by clicking on 'Comment' below and give your opinion.


At 10:58 AM, Blogger commonwealth said...

I really enjoyed your topic of the week. It parallels Wallis's arguments in his current book "God's Politics". Wallis's favorite Bible passage is the one that ends with "what you do to the least of these you do to me." Jesus was chastising his followers that anytime they disregarded or mistreated the poor or vulnerable they were in a sense committing an offense against Jesus himself and would be cast aside in the end. This is the heart of the Christian message which is at complete odds with the Republican agenda under Bush yet they continue to vote for him. It is a puzzle I cannot understand unless with Bush's new budget Christians will begin to see the true economic agenda of the conservatives is not one Jesus would ever condone.


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