Tea Party won’t consider common-sense proposals thanks to corporate sponsors

The Tea Party’s proposed budget allows insurance companies to charge women higher premiums or drop their coverage if they get pregnant. And it contains $40 billion of cuts to the SNAP program, which would take free school meals away from 210,000 children and affect 170,000 veterans.

Clearly, this budget isn’t designed to put the health and welfare of women and children first.

And the most frustrating part of the proposed cuts to SNAP is that the program actually boosts our economy, returning $9 for every $5 spent on the program in 2011.

Tea Party members argue that these cuts, while painful, are necessary in our hard economic times, but that simply isn’t true. Eliminating tax loopholes and subsidies for the oil and gas industry would add $4 billion to the federal budget every year. Ronald Reagan himself proposed similar measures back in 1985, and closing these loopholes would hardly be a hardship for the industry, since last year the five largest oil companies together earned $118 billion in profit.

So why aren’t members of the Tea Party willing to consider these sorts of cuts? Because their corporate sponsors don’t like them. Handouts to oil companies will not improve our economy, and neither will cuts to programs that save children from starvation.

It’s time for responsible Republicans to take a stand against these extremists and get back to work on passing a budget that puts our economy and our families first, not Tea Party corporate sponsors and their extremist allies.

Ask your representative to sign the discharge petition to force a vote on a clean spending bill and end this shutdown now.

Heather Owen,

alumna 2001