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Government Waste

File:Bush National Address 13SEP07.jpgLet me see if I understand this correctly: the Bush Medicare plan is underfunded and broken. After weeks and weeks of him flying around the country on the taxpayer dime to promote this poorly planned fiasco of a "Medicare reform program," the Preznit is now going to send members of his Cabinet around the country to…erm…promote this poorly planned fiasco.

Here’s an idea: how about we use that travel money to instead fix the damn program. You know, so senior citizens can get the drugs they need to keep them alive right now, instead of months down the road.

I’m thinking the money would be better spent on drugs for the elderly, the poor and the disabled than on Air Force One Presidential M&Ms, large PR backdrops and security details. Especially when it’s being wasted on promoting a program that doesn’t even freaking work. I’m just sayin’.

How about a program that actually assists the most vulnerable members of the public instead of more drug corporation welfare from the Bush Administration?

Look, the population in this country is aging. We have a lot of baby boomers who are retiring these days. The rise in oil prices and home heating costs this winter coupled with the rapid rise in health care costs and drug costs over the past couple of years, and the instability in a lot of pension plans and retirement investments due to issues with the economy, have combined to create a perfect storm for a lot of vulnerable people on a fixed income.

People at the margins in terms of budget cannot afford this sort of screw-up. I live in West Virginia, a state that has a substantial senior population, and I see people every day make the choice between food and their medicine. Including verterans who ought to have the VA system to depend on in some capacity. This is shameful — and to use taxpayer money to travel around the country to promote a program that is not working to people who are barely holding on with both arthritic hands to begin with is just plain wrong.

Fix the program. Help the vulnerable. Stop worrying about covering your ass from the political liability on this one. Do the right thing, George.

And to Democrats: hold his feet to the fire until this is fixed. Senior citizens, the disabled, and children in vulnerable families can’t afford any mistakes. They don’t have the margin of error that the rest of the country does. Democrats need to step up and be the voice of the voiceless in this — because it is the right thing to do.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com