Thursday, February 09, 2006

Compassionate Conservative My Ass

This is what I am talking about when I say that Bush's priorities are completely out of whack. Bush's new budget proposal slashes Medicare and Medicaid over the next 10 years. Whether you are for the cut or against it is irrelevant to what I am talking about here.

In defending the cuts, Bush responds to critics who call his proposed budget "immoral" by saying that it is not immoral to stop retired persons to transferring their assets to their kids so they can qualify for Medicaid (Medicaid, Medicare Growth to Slow).

Without naming him, Bush rebutted criticism by Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). "People talked about how the decision to reform Medicaid was immoral," Bush said. "Well, it's not immoral to make sure that prescription drug pharmacists don't overcharge the system." Nor is it immoral, he said, to stop recipients from transferring assets to children to make themselves eligible for more benefits: "We're able to keep the commitment to the poor."

The process that Bush is talking about is called a spin down. to qualify for Medicaid, the elderly person must have less than $2000 of assets (not including their home). In a spin down, those close to the Medicaid limit will give to their kids their inheritance now, instead of when they die. Because of limits on the participant's income, and asset levels, this way of qualifying for Medicare is only applicable to the elderly who are fairly poor in the first place. Someone living on much more than just Social Security payments can't qualify for Medicare.

You may or may not agree with people doing this, but here is where Bush's values are out of wack. He finds a relatively poor person to be immoral, but at the same time, he thinks it is perfectly acceptable to remove the estate tax so that billions of dollars that no one has ever paid taxes can be passed down tax free.

That is right - little ol' grandma living on SSI who gives away the $10,000 she has saved up in the bank over her life = immoral.

Mommy and Daddy Hilton can pass along billions of dollars of assets that they nor there bratty little kids will ever pay taxes on = moral.

Additionally, he is slashing billions from student aid over the next decade (Years of Deep Cuts Needed to Meet Goal On Deficit, Data Show) along with a whole host of other social programs. Yet, tax cuts for the wealthy remain.

Something is wrong here.

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