Can’t this administration get serious about real spending cuts. And how about really supporting domestic programs that are vital to the national well being? Let’s say, for instance, that there were a budget cutback for the ill-named “missile defense system” which has failed every major test for years now and in its latest showing couldn’t even leave the launching pad — could save a couple a billion there. And maybe providing a million dollars in the omnibus spending bill for the B.B. King Museum in Mississippi wasn’t a real priority. How about the $300,000 to relocate a Mississippi Police Department or the $1,108,000 to finance alternative salmon products in Alaska or historical building improvements in Las Vegas for $800,000? And that’s just a sampling. Some pork products in the federal budget may actually help localities provide jobs and shore up state and local economies, others, well not so much.
And then consider the pharmaceuticals’ insistence that high prices are necessary to make ends meet and create wonderful new medicines that save lives. Forget for a moment that much research is funded by outside sources — foundations, charities and such. Consider the money this industry spends on advertising, in print, on radio and TV. Does anyone every wonder how much it costs to run sophisticated commercials in prime time or even in not-so-prime time every day many times a day or 24/7 as some would say? And isn’t it odd that so many products require a doctor’s prescription so the listener/viewer is instructed to “ask your doctor” if this product is “right for you” at the end of the commercial? Shouldn’t government be taking a look at this industry and pressuring them to provide better benefits in its major programs instead of protecting their price structure and passing it along to the rest of us? Shouldn’t all of us be working to make government more responsive in this area?
Now that the president is planning to ask Congress for something in the neighborhood of an additional $80 billion to support the war effort in Iraq shouldn’t cutbacks in other areas be a reasonable expectation rather than diminished Medicare and Medicaid benefits, fewer scholarship dollars and lower investment in scientific research? As someone said not long ago ‘A few million here, a few billion there, pretty soon we’re talking about real money.’ It may be a long and difficult haul but we the electorate need to keep after those people who think we aren’t paying attention and demand that our tax dollars be spent judiciously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *