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Budget Comments sent to Senator Bill Cassidy

May 24, 2017

Past Notes

As we continue with the new Administration, we see a new budget. Not too long ago a bipartisan group worked at a combination of lowering entitlement expenses, lowering military budget expenses, and making tax reform. I hope that now is the time to step aside from the president’s budget and attempt to create a budget with the type of changes that were agreed to I believe in 2015. I believe a higher priority is to increase the minimum wage which will generate tax revenue and cut flow of money through entitlements. Another priority is to add revenue with a surcharge of fossil fuels burning particularly imported oil, but also domestic oil and coal.

May 23, 2017 letter to Bill Cassidy

Yesterday I organized my thoughts on the budget and sent them to Senator Bill Cassidy. I am regrouping to repeat what I sent.

The budget is now being discussed and it is time to define priorities for the people of our country. In the past, the approach of trickle down economics has not led to prosperity for the poorest people. In many of the federal programs there is an opportunity for millionaires to effectively make a margin on whatever monies are going to the poor.

A case in point is well documented on a Frontline program. This program “Poverty Politics and Profit” presents factual information about how millionaire developers, through honest and dishonest means, earned millions of dollars in building “affordable income housing”. The reality was that while these housing programs were intended to flow money and resources of the federal government to the poorest people, a 20 to 30% “surcharge” was earned by these millionaires. Ultimately the end recipients of the cash from section 8 housing vouchers in many cases are wealthy property owners.
This approach exist in many other government programs. We can remember the Savings and Loan Fraud, the sub prime banking bust, the top down cash flow following hurricane Katrina, Bechtel a leading builder of FEMA trailers, we can look at the food stamp program, funds to rich corporate farms via higher prices for their crops and Walmart and other grocery chains getting the big federal payments sent via the poorest SNAP shoppers.
As you have presented in the past, tricking with the tax system to create savings accounts adds to the bureaucracy. A more direct approach would be to return to the “good old days”. That was when we had public housing built by the government and managed by the government with most of the money directly going to house the poor tenants. Similarly, an operation like Charity Hospital put money directly into Charity Hospital which went to patients who did not have the means to go to private hospitals.

As I write this, I had the opportunity to see your dialogue with Jimmy Kimmel on his late night show. I understand you still want to fight for fair treatment of people needing Medical Care. I hope you will go forward on this position. I see an opportunity for you to become a leader in the Senate by crossing party lines and developing moderate budget proposals.

I hope to fully support you in these efforts.

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