Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More Bush Compassion

I was about to report that I had nothing useful to say this morning, Bush, and sign off before I wasted my time and yours. But then I happened to pick up a piece a friend brought over yesterday and changed my mind. It's an editorial from the May issue of Scientific American, and the title is Don't Rob the Cradle. Seems like you had the beginnings of a terrific program to investigate the origins of afflictions like diabetes, autism and asthma whose cumulative financial toll on the US budget is close to $200 billion a year. The National Children's Study would have cost a mere $100 million and showed promise of making significant inroads on the costs--let alone the physical and emotional devastation associated with those diseases. We had collectively, as a nation, put out $50 million a year since 2000 to design and organize the program, which was to begin this year.

Now, it seems, you have "slashed funding" for the current year, and "eliminated its funding entirely and directed that the study be shut down" in your proposed 2007 budget. According to you budget director Joshua Bolten, the idea is "to focus on national priorities and tighten our belt elsewere." To which I can only say, Nice going, Bush. Another brilliant, cost-effective and of course conservatively compassionate move to save money to allow for your tax cuts for the rich. As my friend notes on the tear sheet he so kindly gave me: "This must be meant by NO CHILD LFET BEHIND from the party of compassion." Have a good day.

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