Last spring, our Republican Congress passed a budget and tax blueprint calling for three major changes: $35 billion in cuts to vital national services; $70 billion in new tax cuts to the wealthiest 2 percent in this country; and an additional $35 billion tacked onto the federal deficit. This was extremely bad policy before Hurricane Katrina, but now it's a catastrophe in the making.
Responsible leaders on both sides of the aisle have called for canceling this fiasco called "budget reconciliation" in light of the cost and increased need created by Katrina. But instead of changing course, top Republicans are now using Katrina to argue for $15 billion in additional cuts to the services that the hurricane victims and other vulnerable Americans depend on the most.
Before it is all over, these cuts will most likely affect the Department of Energy budget at Savannah River Site as well, bringing more layoffs, further pay cuts to the nonexempt workforce, and even possible furloughs to make up for budget cuts that are sure to come.
When will people start to see that things are not as they should be, and stand up and say "enough"? The budget cuts will target most all of us, in one way or another. It is bad enough that the Republicans so callously continue cutting programs that will affect the people that need them the most, but to persist in giving the wealthy another tax break is unbelievable and unacceptable!
I hope that people will take note, remember and vote to make changes to the rank and file in Congress!
Dan M. Thompson, Augusta
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