Other campus: Budget overhaul needed (Miami U.)

By The Maimi Student

(U-WIRE) OXFORD, Ohio -Moderate Republicans voted this week to suspend the vote on a proposed budget that included more than $50 billion in cuts – many of them geared toward social programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. While the need for a federal budget is important, these lawmakers deserve commendation for standing up for the principles of responsible government.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, military action in Afghanistan and deep tax cuts proposed during President Bush’s first term, no doubt exists that fiscal responsibility is a must in the upcoming budget. Cutting programs geared at the nation’s most needy, however, is not the solution. Trying to further subordinate the needs of the oppressed to special interests is not the way to perpetuate the American dream.

Rather than cutting funding to key social programs, the United States must seek to reduce pork barrel spending, such as the recently passed, oft-pilloried $200 million “bridge to nowhere.” Or, perhaps even more substantively, now is the time to seek reductions in the U.S. defense budget.

Currently, the United States spends more on national defense than the next six highest spending countries in the world combined. In the face of a “War on Terror,” defense spending has continued to outpace other areas of spending increases. Yet more guns, tanks and airplanes are hardly the solution to defeating terrorism. Instead, the budget should trim defense spending so that money will be spent only on those programs most relevant to protecting America, as opposed to the next gizmo that gets military generals excited.

The actions of these congressmen and women speak even more loudly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The damage and destruction left in the hurricane’s wake truly exposed the plight of this country’s poor, as many of the poorest citizens in New Orleans were the last to leave the city and lost the most. If Congress were to simply pull the rug out from underneath the most needy members of American society, they would only be exacerbating the social ills that Katrina displayed so harshly.

Staff Editorial

The Miami Student (Miami U.)