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Your Views: Enough of state budget cuts that hurt Georgians
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Pet PALS

By: Times_Newsroom

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The state of Georgia is facing a fiscal crisis, and even though Gov. Sonny Perdue ordered almost $1 billion in state budget cuts in July, it is apparent that the state will not meet its revenue targets.

Our state lawmakers have been relying solely on budget cuts to bring the state budget into balance, and the lieutenant governor is calling for even more cuts. But the state’s budget should not be balanced on the backs of Georgia’s middle and low-income citizens or by jeopardizing the education of our children.

Those folks with lower incomes are affected most by the budget cuts, and I was one of the first to endure one of such cuts. The ink was barely dry from the governor’s signature on the fiscal year 2008-09 budget that gave a provider increase which would have allowed me to give my personal care assistants a small raise.

I had worked with fellow advocates to help get the increase in the Independent Care Waiver Program, a Medicaid program under the Department of Community health that provides me with eight hours of care per day. But Gov. Perdue recommended to cut the increase before it could even be implemented.

Before I got on this program, I was on a waiting list for a year and a half. There are more than 7,000 people with disabilities and senior citizens that are on the same type waiting list for home and community-based services, according to the nonprofit organization Unlock the Waiting List. While these people wait for the state to help them, their health will continue to deteriorate, some getting forced into a nursing home, costing the state even more, or end up dying.

A new study found that 1,841 people in Georgia die each year because they lack health insurance. Hopefully the problem will be fixed soon in Washington so that state lawmakers won’t have to choose between pet projects and those less fortunate than others.

Alan Essig at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute called further budget cuts at this point "inefficient and counter-productive," and said "a more thoughtful and practical approach to balancing the state budget is imperative." I am sure the thousands on the waiting lists, and their families and friends will agree.

I also agree with the Institute’s recommendation that before more budget cuts are made, the state should hold hearings on the impact of budget cuts already implemented and new budget cuts being proposed, and that it is time that the governor calls a special session to address the problem and take action to implement additional revenue sources to help balance the state budget, as two-thirds of other states have already done.

We could wait until next month’s revenue figures come in, but why delay the inevitable?

Justin Pressley
Gainesville

Obama cozies up to enemies while selling out our allies
I am continually amazed by the Obama administration’s ineptitude. It seems to stagger from one disaster to another: clunkers, the fabulous "dumbulus" bill, ACORN (can’t be bothered with such insignificant matters) the economy wrecking ball called Cap and Trade, no unemployment over 8 percent, Universal Obama Control Care, etc.

However, the most frightening thing that Mr. Obama has done recently is cut the knees out from under our good friends, the Czechs and Poles, when he canceled the missile interceptor and radar sites. This action has all kinds of troubling ramifications.

These people went out on a long limb for us while the ever-threatening Russian Bear circled the tree waiting for them to drop into his bloody paws. Obama sawed off the limb. These countries have been some of our strongest allies. The Poles have just increased their troop strength by 300 in Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama may not get some things right but he is perfection when it comes to making our friends enemies. He has thrown Israel under the bus; now the Poles and Czechs, waffling on Afghanistan and deafening silence on Georgia to mention a few blunders.

He has also excelled at appeasing our enemies. When the Russians and Hugo pat you on the back, you probably will end up with a knife in it. It seems he has failed to understand one of the fundamental principles of successful negotiating — that is, you do it from a position of strength, especially when you are dealing with the Ahmadinejads of the world.

I heard Mr. Obama say many times in his campaign that our world image was terrible and when he got in the catbird seat he was going to change it. He has changed it, indeed. He and his spinners can massage this latest goof all they can but it will be very difficult to change the perception we convey to our enemies — that Mr. Obama has a backbone disorder, and to our friends, we cannot be trusted.

When he cuts corners on security issues, it places us all in jeopardy. The world we live in today is a dangerous place and second chances can’t be counted on. Trust is a fragile plant, and it dies when fertilized with lies and broken promises.

To further jeopardize our safety, Mr. Obama has allowed the Justice Department to proceed with the insane action of possibly indicting and prosecuting members of the CIA. This administration knows no bounds in its pursuit to destroy the Bush legacy and perhaps many others in the process. What a warped way to express our gratitude to an agency that has played more than a significant part in keeping us safe since Sept. 11, 2001. Don’t we have more serious matters to be concerned about?

This is what you get when you elect an offspring of ACORN to the most powerful position in the world. It is my constant prayer we can survive the reckless conduct of Mr. Obama and his far-left cronies. (If he would just stop campaigning for king of the world, it would be of some comfort.)

Gary Gambrell
Murrayville

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