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OPINION

LETTER: Submitted budget is cruel and deviant

Pennsylvania

The White House budget just submitted the American Greatness Budget or the Taxpayers’ Budget, has also been called “dead on arrival” by people in Congress, including by some Republicans. It has been called “cruel and deviant” by a former secretary of the Labor Department.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney holds up a copy of President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget as he speaks to members of the media in the Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The shocking cuts in so many of our mainstay social safety net programs are explained away by Mike Mulvaney as an attempt to change the way compassion is measured, not by the number of programs or the persons in them, but the number they can get off those programs for their own good. This reflects the mindset of many with wealth and power who self-identify as “the taxpayers” along with those who believe their loud narrative that those in programs like Medicaid, food stamps and the like are simply lazy, perhaps less intelligent, and that their dependence is being fostered by those programs.

Hence the terms like “moocher” for instance. I suspect this story, for some, is sincerely part of their belief systems and because of it, an almost neurological blindness and deafness arises making it difficult to see the suffering inherent in living in a country with such blatant inequality, unjust wages, crumbling schools, lack of affordable health care, discrimination and so on.

I am reminded of what Jim Wallis, an evangelical Christian pastor, said a few years ago, “I realized we’d lost something very foundational, the ancient idea called the common good. We can find common ground for the common good with the golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. The idea is in all of our religious traditions, but it’s also in our secular democratic institutions.”

This cruel and deviant budget creates a serious wound to our secular democratic institution and we must not let it pass.

MARY BARNES

Springfield Township