Sacrificing Women to the Budget Gods

As states scramble to stay afloat -- how are they balancing their
budgets? On the backs of working women of course. The new big trend is
to cut subsidies for child care. And with child care -- poof -- a
critical lifeline to working moms is disappearing. The same states that
cut welfare entitlements in the 90s, forcing moms out to work, are now
cutting the subsidized child care that was promised in return for
workfare.

While the Obama government has provided some aid to states to keep
subsidies up, it is not nearly enough, and some states are just calling
it quits. In California, Governor Schwarzennegger, whose respect for
women is well known, recently proposed to eliminate the entire state
welfare and child care program entirely, affecting 1.4 million people
two thirds children.

In some places, Head Start programs that have been
in place for five decades, are competing for contributions from hedge
funds and running street fairs. Many will have to charge tuition for
the first time this September, exactly the opposite of the vision of
the program.

The bottom line: remember that line about poor women being
the canaries in society's coal mine. That sound you hear is them
choking. As spending on war -- and elections -- continues to rise,
we're suffocating our kids - and their caretakers.

If this is as test -
how much will we really give up? Our society, the richest in the world
by far, seems to be asking the question.

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