Ah, the glowing rhetoric of a presidential "state of the union" speech can be so uplifting, can't it?
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown

Ah, the glowing rhetoric of a presidential “state of the union” speech can be so uplifting, can’t it?

Take George W’s recent flight into this lofty sphere of verbal inspiration. Noting that America is a great force for prosperity, he then added: “Yet our greatness is not measured in power or luxuries, but by who we are and how we treat one another. So we strive to be a compassionate, decent, hopeful society.” Yes, George – preach on, brother!

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But, on the very next day, his rhetoric of hope and decency crashed on the jagged shoals of miserly reality. Pushed by Bush himself, the house Republican leadership rammed through a $39 billion cut in social programs that will dramatically increase costs for the working poor, working-class college students, the elderly, and the disabled.

This is both shameful and a sham. Start with the shame. The biggest cut will take $12 billion from student loans, at a time when college is being priced beyond the reach of working families and when these loans are needed more than ever. It also allows bankers to jack up interest rates on these students.

Then there’s health care. Bush’s cuts will force poor people to make higher co-payments to insurance corporations to get health services. It also allows hospital corporations to reject any poor people who cannot afford the co-payment. In addition, the bill raises the amount that some seven million poor people must pay for

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