Senator John Kerry (D-Mass), according to USA Today, has called for a reversal in the President's plan to cut home heating assistance saying: "I've always supported serious efforts to restore fiscal sanity, but in the middle of a brutal, even historic, New England winter, home heating assistance is more critical than ever to the health and welfare of millions of Americans, especially senior citizens."
I think Kerry's description of this winter as "brutal [and] even historic" should be weighed against an op-ed he wrote for the Huffington Post not two years ago in which he argued that global warming was such a looming threat that:
"Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now."
Either the Arctic is going to be ice free in two years or we need to fully fund home heating assistance to combat this brutal winter.
Can't be both.
Each side will unfairly pick out the most egregious examples of overspending on, or undercutting of, what each believes to be crucially important programs, which means crucially important to elements of its political base.
It will be up to us to be smart consumers of the news coming out of the coming budget fight to cut through the sophistry and decide for ourselves what the government should be spending our money on (having taxed it), and what we should be spending our money on (having earned it).