Alex Blaze

California AIDS Clearinghouse among the casualties of the Global War on Taxes

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 27, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, California, Congress, HIV/AIDS, line-item veto

Here's some more info on the California AIDS Clearinghouse, one of the orgs cut by Schwarzeneggar's line-item veto that eviscerated that state's HIV/AIDS programs. I'm glad that we had a functional Supreme Court in 1996 that took it away from Clinton, because this surely is the sort of "unnecessary spending" that got conservatives in Congress moving when he asked for the line-item veto in 1995.

The Clearinghouse employs seven people and serves hundreds of non-profit organizations in all of California's 61 health jurisdictions, including community clinics and HIV/AIDS organizations. Its mission is to develop and share culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials regarding HIV/AIDS and other STDs with community-based organizations throughout the state. Materials were produced in 14 languages to serve the diverse communities of California. The Clearinghouse also distributes more than 1.5 million condoms each year.

Lazy Californians. If people who speak one of those 13 non-Real-American languages want to know about HIV, they can pay to translate educational materials. It's called a free market. Maybe they could even get together a form some type of organization, a co-operative, if you will, to save some money. Really, any organization can translate the educational materials except for the government, because that's socialism, communism, Naziism, existensialism, and Zen Buddhism.

And condom distribution? Clearly a bail-out of the condom industry. People can use condoms, but not on my tax dollar. Why should I have to subsidize someone else's sex life? Seriously, these people act like epidemics are everyone's problem.

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I can't stand any discussion of spending that doesn't take into account impact. This happens far too often in "journalism" today. X program cost the state $1 million! Meanwhile, $1 million is usually something like 0.005% of the state budget, and the reverberating impact of that spending is neither calculated nor this instance, the probable health and wellness impacts of having HIV/AIDS information provided in languages and cultural contexts other than English/Standard White American. Ugh, gets my blood boiling! Thanks for posting, Alex.

But if they discussed the good things that a government program can do, then that'd be liberal bias. Obviously, the only unbiased position for journalists to take is to write about the only thing conservatives care about: the price tag.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | August 27, 2009 2:14 PM

The Global War on Taxes!!! I love it.

And couldn't agree with you more, Dustin. Wonder how much this action will end up costing the state in the end, when folks who might have avoided getting AIDS end up infected, and with no insurance.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 28, 2009 12:33 AM

BS. Cuts in HIV/AIDS spending are not the fault of states, they're the fault of the Democrats in the White House and Congress.

There is no such thing as a war on taxes. It’s a myth. Both parties are perfectly willing to tax.

Just as both are perfectly happy signing trillion dollar welfare checks to bail out the looter rich. It’s just as clear that Democrats, with gleeful Republican support, use taxes to pay out hundreds of billions a year to murder Iraqi and Afghan civilians and steal their oil.

There are, however, no plans by Democrats or their Republicans junior partners

1) to prevent foreclosures by simply forgiving the debt of those going into foreclosure,

2) to prosecute and jail the tens of thousands of rich people who profited, and continue to profit, from economic collapse.

3) or a bill to send trillions to states crippled by the burdens of paying unemployment to the 10,000,000 or so people who lost their jobs in the last year.

4) and what about crash programs to create affordable, good housing, socialized medicine or to pay for a free university education for the unemployed, people living in poverty and youth.

Fuhgeddaboudit. It's not going to happen.

How do you suppose we got in this pickle? Could it be because people blundered and voted for one or another of the twin parties of war and bigotry, both owned lock stock and barrel by the rich.


Honestly, Bill, I didn't know about this part of your political ideology, and you've been commenting here (and I've been reading your comments) for going on two years now.

Why isn't it the fault of states? Sure, the federal government could have bailed out California, but it's not like Schwarzeneggar's line-item veto, prop 13 back in the 70's, and Reagan's anti-tax "mission work" in California had nothing to do with the situation, either.

I know, Dems and Republicans are just as bad as one another. But they also exist at the state level and can be just as bad as one another there too, which one could argue is the case in California because the Democrats have done absolutely nothing to combat anti-tax rhetoric from the Republicans in that state.

And what I meant by "Global War on Taxes" is not an actual reduction in taxes (although Bush did lower taxes in the beginning of his first term, lest we forget), but the rhetoric used against them that places more importance on saving $20 a year on a middle-class family's tax bill than using that money to, say, fight HIV/AIDS. A corollary to that is the fact that no one complains when the money goes to military contractors or wars, as you mention. But an actual reduction in taxes on anyone except the wealthy is either just cover or an afterthought.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | August 28, 2009 5:32 AM

Alex, the massive amounts needed to contain the damage caused by Clinton's deregulation are simply not available to the states. They can't 'print' money and run up tens of trillions in debt the way the feds can. (Der Gubernator tried warrants but banks and vendors just gave him the finger.)

That's not ideology, new or otherwise, just a description of the reality of state and federal relations.

And you're right. Republicans are just as much to blame as Democrats in some states. There are no excuses and no reasons to support either of them.

However, on the federal level, with commanding majorities in both houses, it's the Democrats alone who are to blame for an approach to unemployment, welfare, socialized medicine, underemployment and etc. that's not particularly different from Bush's approach to Katrina.

In the aftermath of Katrina Democrats and everyone else correctly characterized Bush’s disastrous missteps as as ‘benign neglect’ and a 'head in the sand' approach to the beginning of an era of when we'll see major escalations in the disastrous effects of global warming.

Now, however, from the point of view of people whose unemployment benefits will run out in a year or so this is no sharp distinction between benign and malign neglect, whether the perp is one of the Clintons, one of the Bushes or Obama.

BTW, you almost sound as if you agree that there are no significant divergences between the parties on war, welfare for the rich but not for workers and on scuttling our agenda? Is that true?