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Protest “Reverse Robin Hood” Budget

By Vivian Weinstein

SAN ANTONIO: A group of 30 people gathered in front of Republican Congressman Henry Bonilla’s office to protest the “Reverse Robin Hood Budget,” which would literally take $50 billion from the poor and working class and give $70 billion to the rich. Right-wing congresspersons hoped to devastate poor people before their Thanksgiving recess.

Numerous people got up to explain how the budget cuts would affect them. A student from the Texas University Science center said, “Cutting from science hurts the students and scientific development. Does the government want us to be ignorant?”

An elderly woman said her standard of living would worsen. An Episcopal Pastor who works with the homeless and aids patients called the proposals “shameless” against the elderly and helpless, and against the Bible. It soon came my turn.

I spoke as a disabled person and a mother of a soldier in Iraq. My income is only Social Security. The government has continuously been chipping away at benefits. They increase co-pays and deductibles and the fees for Medicare. It is attempting to destroy this program which has worked for 60 years to protect the elderly and disabled. In countries like Chile and England, after 25 years of privatization, they are worse off than if they had kept Social Security. With my 14 medicines from the hospital pharmacy and using clinics my part of monthly payments is $350/month. My food stamps and electrical assistance have been denied.

The new medication part D of Medicare is impossible to understand. I plan to not go on any program since I will end up paying more with the monthly charges and $250 deductibles. Many are also afraid of paying for something they will not get and suspicious of the greed of the drug companies and have just refused to sign up.

I think this is a good idea. I suggested we all boycott these new plans instead of spending money we do not have for something we do not know we will really get. When you live on a low income, you become wary of being cheated. Phone scams are common. We oppose signing anything that doesn’t make sense to us or our friends and children. We do know that, immediately after the plan was announced, the prices of all drugs were increased!

At the end of the testimony, we went into Congressman Bonilla’s office and spoke to his representatives. We encouraged him to vote against a budget that takes from the poor, workers, and students; and gives $70 billion in tax relief to the most wealthy. They spend our money to rebuild after 3 major hurricanes and an endless war in Iraq.

Two television stations with cameras and Rumbo, a Spanish speaking newspaper, documented our event!

Here are some of the signs we carried: BUDGET CUTS =DEATH
STOP REVERSE ROBBIN HOOD BUDGET
BRING OUR SONS HOME FROM IRAQ
NO: TAKING FROM THE POOR AND GIVING THE RICH
“PLAN D” REFUSE TO SIGN UP
HELP SENIORS, NOT DRUG COMPANIES

North Texans Say, “Don’t Rob the Poor!”

By Jim Lane

IRVING, TEXAS: Larry Dixon’s aged parents need Medicaid. He explained the tragedies of their senior days to a small group huddled against the cold outside the offices of Congressman Kenny Marchant in this spanking-new addition to a Dallas suburb.

Literature that originated with the nationwide computer activist group, MoveOn, said that five million Texans rely on Medicaid. The proposals in Congress would cut them as well as those who need food stamps and student loans. Speaker after speaker stood in front of a table with empty plates to explain how the cuts would affect them, their aged parents, or their small children.

There were similar protest groupings going on simultaneously all over the nation. Larry Dixon said that protests must continue. He offered to gather all of the testimony and share it broadly.

Protesters stood by a table with empty plates for Thanksgiving


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