I don’t understand the cuts being made in our state budget to atone for the current shortfall. I cannot fathom how the legislators fail to look at generating more money to avoid devastating populations that are already under-served.
I applaud the excellent letter by Karen Harvey of Victor in the Bitterroot Star Sept. 27. She listed these cuts systematically. I was already upset about closing the Job Service, and the proposed elimination of Voc-Rehab in our county, but I am sickened that the very least among us - the disabled infants and elderly, the folks struggling with mental illness, senior meal services, Medicaid reimbursement to public hospitals - are being asked to carry the burden of budget deficits.
When a household’s budget turns up short, there are three options: spend less, bring in more, or both. The cuts in the DPHHS budget will cost far more money down the road. If children don’t receive the services they need from birth, their chances of being taxpayers in the future are reduced every year.
Bring in more money! Why can’t the very privileged, and the corporations make up the deficit for a few years? They can certainly better stand a tax increase than the elderly and disabled.
But we don’t hear about that, do we? So afraid of alienating them, they are off limits. I’d like to see a few years when the very poor, the disabled and the hungry are off limits. The underlying theme is that these populations are disposable, but the corporations are sacred.
I challenge the legislators, generate income and stop punishing the rest of us.