[real-eyes] editorial just posted in KC Star

I just got this via a tweet and thought I'd share it. One of the many 
benefits of following the KC Star and others on twitter.
kansascity.com
Posted on Wed, Feb. 22, 2012
The Star’s editorial | Missouri must help the blind and poor, not punish 
them

You know a state has problems when lawmakers recommend taking money from 
the blind and the poor to spare colleges and universities from harmful cuts.
In Missouri’s case, the problems include hostility toward a governor 
seen as autocratic on budget matters, and a callousness toward the poor 
which rears its ugly head all too often.
But the core issue is the refusal by Gov. Jay Nixon and legislators to 
find new sources of revenue for a chronically underfunded state. Whether 
it be reining in tax credits, collecting taxes on Internet purchases or 
supporting a higher tobacco tax, Missouri’s leaders refuse to take the 
tough steps that would lead to long-term fiscal health.
Republicans in the Missouri House have vowed to stop Nixon, a Democrat, 
from balancing his $23.3 billion spending plan with a cut to higher 
education spending. The governor’s initial radical reduction was $106 
million but it’s now down to $66 million.
Last week, a House subcommittee recommended making up most of the 
remaining gap with cuts to social services, including $28 million that 
the state spends to provide medical care for 3,000 blind Missourians.
Those recipients have an income above Missouri’s Medicaid eligibility 
limit. Also, they receive a monthly payment of about $700 from the Blind 
Pension Fund. But Missouri’s threshold for adults to obtain Medicare is 
appallingly low. And a $700 stipend is no substitute for reliable 
medical care.
Other proposed cuts by the subcommittee would affect child care 
subsidies, prescription drug help for seniors and some services for the 
developmentally disabled.
Nixon is calling for the cuts to be stopped, and they should be. But 
there are no political points to be scored here. Responsible leaders 
should have taken steps to avoid being painted into this corner.
© 2012 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. 
http://www.kansascity.com
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