Taken from an e-mail I received, also can be found on dreadful_red‘s journal.

Last week, congressional Republicans responded to Hurricane Katrina by
proposing to cut nearly a trillion dollars from vital national services,
like health care for the poor and elderly, student loans, Amtrak, and
eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (again!) [1].
Republican leaders in Congress are now gauging the public’s response to
see if they can get away with their plan. We need to show them the answer
is “no.”

The cost of rebuilding the Gulf Coast, while huge, is far less than what
President Bush has given away in tax cuts to the wealthiest one
percent [2]. National crises like Hurricanes Rita and Katrina are times for
all Americans to stick together and put in our fair share.

So today we’re launching an urgent petition to Congress to fully rebuild
the Gulf Coast and pay for it by ending Bush’s tax cuts for the very
wealthy, not by slashing vital services that Americans need. If we can
gather a quarter million signatures this week, we can show them that this
destructive plan just won’t fly.

Please sign today:

The Republican proposal, titled “Operation Offset,” was authored by the
Republican Study Committee, a group of over 100 influential members of
Congress, including powerful committee chairs and members of the
Republican leadership [3]. The proposal starts with support from at least
these 100 representatives, and they are looking to quickly build momentum.

A full reconstruction of the Gulf Coast region is generally estimated to
cost around $200 billion [4]. We could more than meet this cost by rolling
back Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for just the wealthiest one percent of
the country, which would save us an estimated $327 billion [5].

“Operation Offset,” however, calls for an astounding $949 billion dollars
in cuts over 10 years to vital national services [6].–almost five times
the full cost of reconstruction. To further put that in perspective, it’s
also more than 4 times what we’ve spent in Iraq [7].

This plan is not about “offsetting,” or rebuilding–it’s about exploiting
this crisis to push their longstanding goals for America. As conservative
movement leader Grover Norquist has often put it, the goal is to get
government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” [8]
This proposal is their latest attempt to drown the public sector.

The excess of the Republicans’ proposed cuts is almost unbelievable. You
can read the full proposal here:

Here are just some of the most egregious cuts:

* $225 billion cut from Medicaid, the last-resort health insurance
program for the very poor.
* $200 billion cut from Medicare, the health care safety net for the
elderly and the disabled.
* $25 billion cut from the Centers for Disease Control
* $6.7 billion cut from school lunches for poor children
* $7.5 billion cut from programs to fight global AIDS
* $5.5 billion to eliminate all funding for the Corporation for Public
* $3.6 billion cut to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and
* $8.5 billion cut to eliminate all subsidized loans to graduate
* $2.5 billion cut from Amtrak
* $2.5 billion to eliminate the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative
* $417 million cut to eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency
* $4.8 billion cut to eliminate all funding for the Safe and Drug-Free
schools program

And the list goes on and on.

Which and how many of these cuts move forward in Congress depends largely
on the public response this week.

As the reconstruction begins our country faces a basic question: Will we
respond to Katrina by banding together to solve national problems, or by
helping the wealthy and powerful cut and run while those left behind fend
for ourselves?

The radical Republicans have spoken up loud and clear with their answer,
and we must respond with ours.

Please sign today:

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