The unnecessary and contrived federal government shutdown has been averted -- this time. But the nightmare budget fight lives on. Brace yourself!
Full details of last Friday night's budget agreement to avert the shutdown will emerge later this week, and I'll examine them closely. Based on what we know so far, here's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the fight over federal spending priorities and our economy.
The Good -- Democrats stood firm and prevented Tea Party Republicans from eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood and women's health care, and from curbing EPA's work to protect clean air and keep arsenic out of our water. These outrageous attacks had no place in a fight the Republicans pretended was about deficits and debt.
The Bad -- Republicans won $38.5 billion in "painful" cuts to this year's services. A sizeable portion will come out of education, labor, health, transportation and housing -- areas that are critical to continuing the economic recovery and job creation and keeping America competitive. What's more, the cuts hurt middle class working families but leave untouched the billions for oil companies and America's wealthiest taxpayers who have not shared one sacrifice since the recession began.
The Ugly -- What lies ahead? More pain. The "policy riders" will be back, again and again, against women's health, abortion rights, clean air, labor and National Public Radio. But the real attack comes this week -- the Ryan Republican budget to end the guarantee of Medicare, make prescription drugs for seniors more expensive, and undermine nursing home care for seniors and the disabled. More pain for the elderly, the middle class, and the poor, but no pain for oil companies and wealthy taxpayers. Brace yourselves!
These are not my values and I know they are not yours. Help me fight back.
The Ryan Republican budget is the biggest threat ever to the health and economic security of seniors of all income levels and to all future retirees. Share this information with your friends and family, and stay tuned for more details on the real impact of the Republican budget.