Friday, September 23, 2005

Operation Offset

"Operation Offset"
Republicans to Screw The Military, Amtrak, Seniors and the Disabled, and First Responders.

Raw Story has received a document completed by the Republican Study Committee called "Operation Offset", which is an internal study by the Republican members of Congress (86 total Republicans are on the committee) on how to reduce spending in the wake of Katrina. This document contains all of the items that the Republicans have been frothing at the mouth to get rid of for years, but never had the broad support to do so. Many of the items appear so inflammatory, I'm not sure what this committee was smoking when they came up with their ideas...

Some of the "highlights":

Medicare Cuts:
  • Delay the Medicare Prescription Drug Program until January 1, 2007 (currently slated to begin January 1, 2006). Yes, this is the same program that Bush was out supporting while NOLA was beginning to drown.
  • Increase Medicare Part B co-payments from 25% to 30%. With seniors and the disabled now having to choose between gas, food, prescriptions, and heating their home this winter due to the expected 125 or more percent increase in Natural Gas costs, draw your own conclusions on the effect this may have...
  • Impose a Home Health co-payment of 10% for Medicare.
Military Benefits and Administrative Cuts:
  • Close the Domestic Dependent School System. Yes, that's right--let's cut benefits to the families of the men and women currently serving overseas under already increasingly harsh conditions (such as Stop-Loss orders and dying in a war that Americans now believe we cannot win).
  • Introduce HSAs as an TRICARE option. In other words, try to force military members and their dependents off of the TRICARE health care system. From the party of "supporting the military".
  • Restrict First Responder grants to "At-Risk Communities". Love this one. So, now it must be that only the Republicans really know who's going to be attacked?
There's much more that can be found in the document here. (PDF)
It seems to me that the Republican party is intent on cutting spending in areas that will affect mainly the poor and already disenfranchised instead of "cutting the fat" that Tom Delay claims no longer exists. I really wonder how they plan on sneaking this proposal through. Whatever their ways--we must all join together and say enough is enough. Become fiscally responsible in other ways, like stopping no-bid contracts to Halliburton and other Bush cronies, rolling back the tax cuts to the 1% of the richest Americans (which would pay for Katrina and Iraq), and stop handing out money-candy to their biggest supporters.

It's time to start fall cleaning. 2006 is the year in which Congress must be cleansed. Enough lies, deciet, and ineptitude. We can teach the Beltway a lesson.

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