Emphasis added by me. This is the type of reasoning that makes me ill, especially her delusions about poor people receiving inheritances. ("They have no bread? Let them eat cake!") This is the kind of article we need to exploit to show that they are really just trying to blow all the budgets so they can justify taking away programs. BTW, Texas is in the bottom 10 in the US for social programs support.www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssis...an/1887795
April 28, 2003, 10:23PM
State GOP chair defends low-income program cuts
By CLAY ROBISON
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
AUSTIN -- Republicans working to make budget cuts that would remove thousands of low-income Texans from health care and other assistance programs aren't being hard-hearted, Texas GOP Chairwoman Susan Weddington told other party leaders.
Now that Republicans control the statehouse for the first time in 130 years, they are simply trying to realize a long-sought goal to "realign" the role of state government, she said.
But she acknowledged that many people considered poor or near-poor by existing governmental standards will soon have to fend for themselves.
In a conference phone call with members of the State Republican Executive Committee, Weddington urged party leaders and grass-roots supporters to encourage Republican lawmakers to hang tough in the face of criticism from Democrats and many newspaper editorial writers.
She said Democrats, during the budgetary debate, have attempted to "make Republicans look like heartless, cruel, mean, ugly people who just want people to die, want people to be thrown out of nursing homes, and that is not the case."
"The fact of the matter is that we want a new philosophy, a new policy toward spending that helps those that really need help, and they have no other options," she added.
"We want to cease and desist helping those who have other options but choose to use government because it's cheaper and it's more convenient. You know, the Democrats want to create a government-funded middle class, and we've got to have the courage to take the hits so that we do what's right by the people of Texas."
Weddington told the GOP committee that she was concerned that the Senate's attempt to increase spending -- even without a tax increase -- would hurt Republican efforts to keep "our promise to the people of Texas who elected us."
David Barton, the party's vice chairman, added that it is important for Republican leaders to warn lawmakers not to "get bent out of shape over (allegations) you're killing elderly people by starving them, or whatever."
Under a proposed state budget approved by the House, about 250,000 low-income children would be removed from the Children's Health Insurance Program, at least 56,000 elderly and disabled people would lose services in their homes and additional thousands of people would lose Medicaid and other benefits.
"If you're used to getting a government subsidy, you don't like it when you don't get it," Weddington said. "But it doesn't mean you're going to be harmed. It doesn't mean you're going to be without any other options."She said families whose children are removed from CHIP would have to purchase their own insurance and "maybe have a little less disposable income or a little less inheritance from Mom and Dad."
Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which lobbies for low-income people, said many families earning between $27,000 and $37,000 a year -- who would be most affected by the CHIP cuts -- cannot afford health insurance.
"One of the key reasons the poor are poor is because they can't develop assets," he said. "I don't want a government-funded middle class, and we don't have a government-funded middle class."