THE BLOG

America the Greedy, continued

Altercation

A day after Bush got done telling the country what a brave, noble and generous people we are, the Republican Congress votes to stick it to the poor, the old, the indigent and the most vulnerable. Yesterday's budget cuts include reductions in: "In the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled, $4.8 billion will be saved in part by increasing co-payments and reducing payments for prescription drugs" and will force students to pay higher interest rates on these federal loans beginning in July, here.

The budget-busting Bush who has destroyed the surplus, exploded the deficit, and increased the size of the federal government by more than thirty percent since coming to office set a record for shamelessness by announcing that the vote "will continue to build on the spending restraint we have achieved." And the Times prints this straight-faced. Ha. As TP points out,

As the Post notes, "The impact of the bill on the deficit is likely to be negligible, slicing less than one-half of 1 percent from the estimated $14.3 trillion in federal spending over the next five years."

And while we're on the topic of what a fine, generous, and moral people we are--particularly the ultra-rich who make up the non-Christian Conservative, non-Neoconservative jihadist part of Bush's base, I saved this article from a while back. Today's cutbacks make it more relevant than ever. It was in the Times:

Working-age Americans who make $50,000 to $100,000 a year are two to six times more generous in the share of their investment assets that they give to charity than those Americans who make more than $10 million, a pioneering study of federal tax data shows.

The least generous of all working-age Americans in 2003, the latest year for which Internal Revenue Service data is available, were among the young and prosperous - the 285 taxpayers age 35 and under who made more than $10 million - and the 18,600 taxpayers making $500,000 to $1 million. The top group had on average $101 million of investment assets while the other group had on average $2.4 million of investment assets.

On average these two groups made charitable gifts equal to 0.4 percent of their assets, while people the same age who made $50,000 to $100,000 gave gifts equal to more than 2.5 percent of their investment assets, six times that of their far wealthier peers.

I saved this too:

In 1985, the combined wealth of the Forbes 400 was $238 billion, adjusted for inflation. Today, the 400 richest people in America are together worth $1.13 trillion. To put that number in perspective, $1.13 trillion is more than the gross domestic product of Canada. And it is more than the G.D.P. of Switzerland, Poland, Norway and Greece - combined.

Remember, we also, as a nation, give by the far the tiniest percentage of our GNP to development aid of any Western industrialized democracy as well--though believe it or not, every time I write this, people write in to insist that we include our wars. It would be funny were it not for the fact that...