Thursday, December 22, 2005

If Compassionate Conservatism Ever Was, It's Gone Now

Gardner Selby brings up Bill Ratliff's comments, A political puck says religion, government do mix, from a couple of weeks ago:
In his remarks, later excerpted in the American-Statesman, Ratliff said individuals who win election touting Christian credentials sometimes don't heed biblical teachings once in office.

...

Ratliff later said he feels distress over legislators eroding a 1998 goal of prioritizing the Children's Health Insurance Program with money from the state's $15.3 billion settlement of a lawsuit against big tobacco companies. At the time, Ratliff called CHIP, which serves the working poor, realistic because of the settlement.

CHIP enrollment reached 500,000 in 2003 but has since dropped to less than 325,000, partly because the 2003 Legislature cut benefits and made it harder to join. Legislators this year restored benefits but also authorized a waiting list if funds run short.
Here's what Sen. Ogden had to say about this:
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, chief of the Finance Committee, agreed that officeholders can be hypocritical facing tough decisions. Such gaps between belief and action, he said, are "a recognition, from a Christian viewpoint, of our sinful nature."
They may have been referring to un-Christian/sinful things like this, Abbott says it could cause $2 billion drop in collections in Texas. In case anyone forgot Abbott's a Republican, so you see it's not just Democrats that are against it. Here are a few quotes from the article:
"I am deeply concerned about the harm that this legislation will cause children in Texas and across the nation," Abbott, a Republican, said in a news release. The bill "will make it much harder for my office to help a million Texas children who need child support to furnish the basic necessities of life."

...

"Texas has one of the most successful child support programs in the nation, yet this bill punishes states that have performed well," Abbott said. "How unfortunate that when a government program proves to be successful, it is victimized by its very success."

...


Like most Senate Republicans, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas supported the budget bill.

Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general who ran for Senate touting his record on child support collections, and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, a former deputy attorney general, worked to limit the cuts, spokesmen for both said.

...

But U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, criticized the bill in general and the child support enforcement cuts in particular.

"The cuts to child support enforcement are ill-advised and morally wrong and signify a chilling disregard for the most vulnerable among us," Doggett said in a statement.

Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which advocates for low- and middle-income Texans, also criticized the cuts.

"These cuts to child support enforcement will mean fewer mothers and children will get the support they need," McCown said. "More families will be on public benefits as a result."



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