Mark Kennedy: Flunky for the rich

How is leaving billions of dollars of debt to future generations fiscally responsible?

I am writing in response to the Feb. 1 guest column “Deficit Reduction Act helps students.” The authors claim that Minnesotans need Mark Kennedy in the Senate to save us from the budget deficit. Unfortunately, they fail to look at the bigger picture. The bill will cut $40 billion from the deficit over the next five years; student-loan limits will rise, just as they said. However, they mentioned only one small part of a huge bill to try to drum up support for the whole bill.

If they discussed the entire bill, they would have mentioned that $2.7 billion in aid will be cut to farmers. Furthermore, $6.4 million will be cut from Medicare and nearly $4.8 billion will be cut from Medicaid. The majority of those who benefit from this aid are poor and need all the help they can get from our government. Surprisingly, these three crucial areas make up 35 percent of the budget cut. The largest cut comes in the category titled Education and Pension Benefit Provisions, which will cut $16.3 billion from spending. Those four groups make up a whopping 76 percent of the total cuts.

Who should solve our budget problem? The rich or the poor? The creators of the Deficit Reduction Act clearly think we should cut the budget on the backs of the poor. Another important matter left out by the authors is a different bill that is being voted on this week in the House.

The second bill would put Bush’s tax cuts permanently into place and would cost our country billions of dollars of revenue. The two bills focus on two different sections of the population. The deficit bill will make the poor poorer, while the tax bill will make the rich richer. On top of it all, the authors claim Kennedy is fiscally responsible. I fail to see how leaving billions of dollars of debt for future generations of

Americans fiscally responsible, but maybe the authors are talking about a different kind of fiscal responsibility that I don’t know about.

This week has potential to be very good for Republicans. However, it also may spell disaster for our nation’s poorest citizens and countless future generations of Americans who will be forced to fix the problems of their “fiscally responsible” predecessors. I guess students still should only focus on the student aid part though, right?

  Robert Kahn is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected].