Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

The Subject Is the Deficit

Posted by Warren Peterson on April 22, 2011

In her April 14, 2011 newsletter, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said:

“Last week as efforts to reach a budget agreement came down to the wire, I worked to successfully defeat an ideologically driven proposal that would have seriously restricted health care support for women across Washington state. On the floor of the U.S. Senate, in a speech to a rally on the national mall, and in discussions with colleagues, I fought back against a provision that would have eliminated funding for cervical and breast cancer screenings, prenatal care and family planning services for women. I also joined a letter with 41 of my colleagues that urged the Senate leadership to oppose these extreme proposals.”

By “family planning services” she means that 97% of pregnant woman going to Planned Parenthood abort their babies. She uses the word “extreme” because Senator Schumer told Democrats to call any budget proposals from the GOP “extreme”. He’s the same Schumer who derides GOP court nominees as “out of the mainstream” meaning they are not liberals. Instead of addressing the question of why should private groups like Planned Parenthood receive Federal deficit dollars, the Democrat playbook calls for demagoguery in order to discredit the opposition before the 2012 elections. Republicans have been known to make similar plays as they look forward to an upcoming election.

The Murray/Schumer types provide fodder for conservative bloggers while Republicans like Sarah Palin and Senator Kyl (his misstatement on Planned Parenthood) serve the liberal pundits. It’s all great sport but clouds the debate on the critical issue of unsustainable annual deficits and the alarming growth in the national debt. It is lost in the political skirmishes over hot button social issues barely under the surface of budget provisions. The debt is so serious it is time for elected officials to risk losing reelection, to summon political courage not seen since…since…, well, never before.

If political courage is unlikely, how about some political cover? Try an up or down voice vote, no amendments, no debate on a omibus spending reduction bill containing cuts submitted from the conservative and liberal members of the House and Senate. Or would a Balanced Budget Constitutional amendment work? Something significant has to be done and soon. The do little or nothing alternatives are just too scary.

Cross Posted on: Sound Politics


4 Responses to “The Subject Is the Deficit”

  1. drwilda said


    I do not support abortion, but support adoption. Are you sure about the Planned Parenthood abortion figures? I thought it was around 3% which is still not good. We live in a secular society and the Christian faith does preach the fact that each individual has free will. The best way to reduce the number of abortions is for families to instill strong values in their children. People have the free will to be sexually active and in those cases, they should have access to birth control, especially if the person has problems with substance abuse and is in an abusive relationship.

    • Warren Peterson said

      I believe the confusion is that 3% of Planned Parenthood activities are related to offering abortion services and 97% of those coming to Planned Parenthood for an abortion receive one with only 3% choosing adoption or keeping their baby. Regardless of the percentages, it is reported that Planned Parenthood performed about 330,000 abortions last year. They claim that their birth control services prevented twice that number of abortions.

      My concern is that the debate over Federal funding of organizations that could raise support money privately distracts from the crucial need to address the debt crisis. Everything, large or small, has to be on the table if we are to be serious about what needs to be done to get our fiscal house in order.

      • Fredc said

        It was the Republicans who tried to throw Planned Parenthood under the budget bus, and it was indeed a distraction from the needed budget debate.

        You say everything large or small needs to be on the table, but shouldn’t we START with large? Medicare, Medical, Defense, Agriculture and Oil subsidies, AND expiration of the Bush tax cuts for us all, not just the super-rich? The sad truth is that, thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court, all of these interests have such a huge financial strangle hold on all of Congress, Republican and Democrats, that it is hard to see how we get through this with a decent/fair solution.

      • Warren Peterson said

        Just start! I’d include taxation in the mix if it was a companion bill to thoroughly reform the tax system.

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