May 24, 2005

At what price Democratic?

This should be a year of rejoining for Democrats throughout North Carolina. Though, we lost the national battle against radical neo-conservatives, who hold theology in higher regard than morality, at least here on the homefront we won the war. A Democratic Governor, a Democratic House, and a Democratic Senate, what more could a Democrat ask for?

Well, for its representatives to act like Democrats for one thing. In the last few weeks, the Democratic majority in the Senate has pushed through legislation that seems more in line with neo-conservative Republican policy than with Democratic morality, while blocking legislation that falls inline with Progressive principles. These un-Democratic policies include:

  • Cutting approximately $2 Billion in Medicaid spending for 65,000 aged, blind, and disabled people who are most in need.  Yet, what do our Democratic Senator have to say about Medicaid for the old, blind, and disabled?

    "Many of the complaints that have been filed against us by business and industry and other folks is that we're too generous in Medicaid, and it's been very, very costly."  --  Senate Leader Marc Basnight, D-Dare.

    "We've got a lot of non-mandated services that we provide. It's a Cadillac health program." -- Senator David Hoyle, D-Gaston.

    "Medicaid is what's driving the budget and we've got to control it."  -- Senator Kay Hagan, D-Guilford.

  • Our Democratic Senators support a bill that will cut Workers' Compensation Benefits for injured workers, even though fair analysis suggests that our plan is one of the nation's LEAST costly.

  • Our Democratic Senate has chosen to block decent healthcare for 12,000 children a year from working homes.  These are children whose parents work hard, but who do not bring home enough money for healthcare.  Our Democratic Senate has decided that child welfare is less important than corporate welfare.

  • A cut in teen drug courts that help keep kids out of jail and are also LESS EXPENSIVE than old-fashioned prison time.

  • A permanent half-penny sales tax increase, which when proposed nationwide by Republican last year was labeled as a poverty tax.

  • A minimal cigarette tax that does not offset the damage done by smoking to our personal or economic health and which still leaves North Carolina close to last among states with cigarette taxes.

  • Reduction in the income-tax bracket for tycoons and heiresses collecting an average of $800,000 a year.

  • Reduction in the tax-rate for Mega-Corporations in the state.

    The Democrats in the Senate need to learn a lesson from George W. Bush about mandates.  We won the Governorship and widening margins in the House and Senate this year and deserve to have a budget that is Progressive in its principles, not neo-conservative.  We deserve equity for the working family, equality for all North Carolinians, a progressive and fair tax system that lifts the burden off the working class and distributes it evenly, and a better life for all children.

    The budget battle is not over, far from it, and the Democratic House and Governor have signaled that they do not support many of the proposed neo-conservative positions.  So, please, all North Carolinians, contact the Governor , and your local House Rep, but also PLEASE, email or call your Senator and let them know that these changes are unacceptable and that they will not be tolerated in the future.  Thank you for your time.

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