Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Just Don't Understand

Recently, I've been called to task on Facebook by family members who think that cutting Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other so-called 'entitlement' programs is the best way to balance the budget. The only entitlement I can see is that people who pay into the system are entitled to expect to see their money come back to them when they reach the correct age.

Now, don't get me wrong - I agree that the budget needs to be balanced. That isn't the part I don't understand. What confuses me is that these people (let's call them...conservatives) seem to think that it's only about the numbers.

When they talk about balancing the budget, it seems that they look at the figures and that's all they see. I look at the figures and I see the people who depend on that money to...oh, wait, what's it called? Live! Without that money, these people can't keep a roof over their heads, can't put food on the table, can't purchase the medications that their lives depend on.

As far as I can tell, people aren't a factor for these conservatives. And I don't understand how anyone can ignore/forget the fact that those numbers represent people. Living human beings. It's like people don't matter to them.

Yes, I know I'm being very general when I talk about conservatives. But I have yet to see one of them say that people matter more a balanced budget, or any of the other things they're up in arms about these days, like abortion, gay rights, reproductive and women's right, etc. And until I do, I reserve the right to generalize.

I love my country, but I'm not blind. It can, and should, do better. But that's never going to happen until the people who are this country become part of the equation.