FamiliesUSA has put out a mythbusting fact sheet about SCHIP, a sad and tragic necessity in the wake of the abject lies told by the President of the United States and those who get off licking his shoeleather. To wit:
Claims by the President that this bill raises the CHIP eligibility level to $83,000 (400 percent of the federal of the poverty level) in annual income are unambiguously false. There isn’t a single state in the country with such a high eligibility level. One state, New York, wanted to set the eligibility standard at that level, but its request to do so was denied by the Administration.
I’m also fond of the newfound sense of fiscal responsibility espoused by George Bush, who now says we simply can’t afford that kind of expenditure if it’s kids’ lives on the line instead of, say, nuclear warheads. I’m even going to quote the JLW on this one:
These veto threats would be less absurd if they came from a president with an established track record of fiscal responsibility. But Bush didn’t hesitate to sign off on bloated spending bills–including a $1.2 trillion Medicare prescription-drug benefit–when he thought it might help Republicans keep control of Congress. And now he whines about “irresponsible levels of spending” and threatens to bring the federal government to a standstill over a fraction of a percent of the budget?
The federal budget has grown at an average rate of 6.1 percent per year under Bush, twice the rate at which it grew under President Clinton. Conservatives often retort that the growth of government during the Bush administration is simply a function of spending on homeland security and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They’re wrong: Even domestic non-homeland-security discretionary spending has risen faster under Bush than it did during the Clinton years. All this might be fine if he had deigned to pay for it. Instead, he opted for $2 trillion worth of tax cuts.
As Naomi Klein says in The Shock Doctrine, the Bush Administration has been remarkably successful at selling off large chunks of the public space — an arena that the American people have not only an investment but a vested interest in — to raging corporatists who then lease it back to the government at huge expense. From the charter schools of New Orleans to the security contracts in Iraq, the costs have been staggering. For Bush to start quibbling about pricetags now like he really cares seems just a wee bit disingenuous.