Early-morning light reflected -- albedo, blogged here -- from the window of a house on the west side of the street onto this one on the east side of the street (turned on its side for artistic reasons) in Newburport Sunday is our favorite kind of light. Is that why Crystal Patterson's sunny prose, a refined reflection of her boss's gratuitously scorching spoutings, is so much more to our liking than Senator Kennedy's own reason-blinding rhetoric?
"If we were talking about budget cuts that weren't necessitated by huge tax cuts for the wealthy, the cuts would be easier to understand," emails the sparkling Crystal Patterson of Senator Kennedy's office. It's a party line based upon a faulty understanding of economics in our view. Rather than diminishing the federal pot, tax cuts "for the wealthy" translate to more business and more tax income, and the way to balance things is to cut spending, but try telling that to a "progressive." As a member of the PorkBusters team, we do appreciate the personal touch, though, big time:
I wanted to let you know we are not going to support Senator Coburn and the Fiscal Responsibility Team on this issue. Why? There are a couple of reasons. First, many of the cuts are to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and student loan programs.
Yes, Crystal, but what about the specific one we PorkBusters identify ourselves with, diversion of the "bridge-to-nowhere" funding up north in Alaska to restoring that bridge across Lake Pontchartrain way down yonder in New Orleans?
Some of the cuts also take away from programs that enforce child support payments from deadbeat parents.
Wait a sec while we turn down the violins here. Our refuge-of-scoundrels alert always goes off at the evocation by polititians of "the children."
I know you are interested in cutting pork, but I'm very hard-pressed to believe that these are the first programs that should be cut -- especially considering that the Republicans are looking to pass another $73 billion in tax cuts next week. The Fiscal Responsibility Team is only responsible if responsible is defined as "actively seeking to finance tax cuts on the backs of the poor and underprivileged." The reason why we are even having talks of budget cuts is because of the massive tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the most wealthy among us.
Crystal is a delightful correspondent -- smooth and blog savvy -- and we salute our senior Senator for having a person of her caliber on his team. She continues:
I think the Porkbusters idea is a good one -- and if we were talking about budget cuts that weren't necessitated by huge tax cuts for the wealthy, the cuts would be easier to understand. Transparency is good, especially when we're talking about taxes and government spending. I'm glad you got in touch (somehow I'm guessing you'll have a response to this ;) ), and I look forward to talking to you more in the future.
How can someone so smart -- and so fun and funny -- be so economically illiterate? We guess it comes with the territory.