Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm Just Saying...

You can't claim a budget surplus when you have no way to pay critical bills, like bills for children's healthcare and state employee retirement. That's like me saying I have five grand in the bank and and failing to mention that I didn't pay the mortgage.

Facing the prospect of no more federal funds, or at least not soon enough, the State of Georgia has now frozen PeachCare enrollment. Their appears to be no knight in shining armour to save this critical program. This is not a problem that popped up overnight. The storm clouds have been gathering, and while the contributing factors are many, the main reason Georgia and some other states have a problem while some other states do not can be summed up in two words: child poverty. Since 2000, Georgia has experienced a 17% increase in the number of children who live in poverty. Now, one in every five children in Georgia live at or below the poverty line.

We make choices, like having a tax code that, when all taxes are considered has the bottom 20% of earners paying the largest share of taxes, and like giving a tax break to seniors who make $150,000 a year while a young working family making $35,000 would still have to pay state taxes. We make choices, and now, in this crisis over PeachCare, we must deal with one of the consequences of those choices.

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2 comments:

Amy Morton said...

Also, just let me say that yesterday Forbes reported that the President has billions in his 07 budget for 'cyber-security.' Don't we need to prioritize a little here? I'd rather have healthcare for kids than 'cyber-security.'

Kathy said...

I haven't posted before now because this situation hits very close to home and makes me so angry that it is very difficult to be objective...if one can ever be "objective" about the welfare of children.

The President has long shown his colors in this regard. I'm unsurprised at any callous action on his part. I'll be interested to see if any of our congressmen will join a bipartisan effort to save these programs.