To the editor:
The recent deficit-reduction bill praised by Sens. Roberts and Brownback in remarks coming from their offices (Journal-World, Dec. 23) reduced federal loan subsidies to students for higher education, froze payments to doctors for seeing Medicare patients at levels which many physicians already refuse to accept, encouraged states to greatly increase medical co-payments for Medicaid services by persons already living below the poverty level who don't have money to spend for medical or long-term care, required states to tighten work requirements for welfare eligibility regardless of efforts made by persons to find work, and gutted efforts by states to improve child-support enforcement.
Defending these unconscionable cuts to social programs that mean so much to so many people by saying that this is a start toward reducing the size of government makes as much sense as defending the murder of someone by explaining how much cleaner the air will be with fewer persons in the world.
If the two senators were truly committed to reducing government size, they could start by questioning, even in some small way, the $6-$8 billion per month that we are spending for services being rendered by our country to the citizens of Iraq.
I applaud Gov. Sebelius for identifying these budget cuts for what they are: a cruel and coordinated effort to set back social policy in our country in ways that run counter to the many positive efforts being made by Kansans to improve our health and education.