Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Money Running Through Their Veins

The Gulf Coast Hurricanes have exposed an unsettling truth about the Republican leadership in Washington:

To them, we -- that is, the people of Earth -- are not actual human beings, as in creatures with the same needs, rights, and desires as they. To them, we are but pieces in an almost metaphysical board game, the object of which is not just victory, but total domination.

George W. Bush has proposed a plan of dealing with the aftermath of Katrina that will be massively expensive -- perhaps $200 million. Perhaps more. And then there's Rita.

In the face of such massive spending, and with regards to the nation's already staggering budget deficit, the Republicans are now fighting among themselves about what spending to cut.

Do we reduce the amount of relief for Katrina? How about cutting health care for the poor? Or let's stop funding the National Endowment for the Arts.

No matter what, we must not touch the tax cuts for the rich, which in the last couple of years have cost us enough to pay for the Katrina rebuilding.

And we must not give those who lost everything in the hurricane any kind of break on our gleaming new ball-breaking bankrupcy bill.

And we must give all of the contracts for rebuilding the region to our rich, connected friends at Halliburton, et. al, without making them even have to bid for them. And of course, we will not even contact any small, perhaps minority-owned, businesses in the region to give them a chance at doing the work.

And we must relieve companies winning these contracts from the requirement of having to pay at least the minimum wage to their workers. And we can't insist that they adhere to affirmative action requirements either.

Lest folks go around believing that we consider them human beings.

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