Are you looking forward to your Easter break? You DO get two weeks off of work for Easter, don't you? Wait, you don't? Well that must mean you don't work for Congress, where our "hard-working" "leaders" are supposed to be passing a 2017 budget right now but will instead be setting their out-of-office auto-replies for two weeks.
So, about that budget they're not passing: It's bad. Tons of terrible cuts to funding for disadvantaged people, and even more cuts to taxes on the wealthy. It's gross and evil, but at least that's Republicans doing shady backroom business as usual, rather than whipping the public into a frenzy about baby parts and brown people.
Naturally, the budget would repeal Obamacare, and also take a hatchet to Medicare. So if lawmakers were to pass the budget, we'd see lots more people unable to afford medical coverage, and lots more premature death.
To be sure, Obamacare is a problematic and baffling system. (I'm a freelancer, and I recently got an eye exam that was supposed to cost me $300 out of pocket, even with Obamacare, but the eye doctor's office tried running the bill a couple different ways and then it was magically free for reasons nobody completely understood.) But it's not like anything better is going to come along if we yank it away.
Republicans also want to cut a trillion dollars from their usual victims: national parks, law enforcement, education. Hey, rich people can buy private versions of all of that stuff, so who needs government funding for it?
Poor people will have to endure even more cuts when Republicans get back from vacation: They're trying to cut the nearly $2 trillion dedicated to the Social Services Block Grant. Under their plan, resources for low-income families would be cut in half over the next decade.
They also want to get rid of the entire Consumer Protection Bureau and slash the Environmental Protection Agency. Basically the GOP hates protecting things, except for the labyrinthine tax dodges that protect the giant corporations that pay Congress' real salaries.
If there's any good news here, it's that there's so much disagreement in Congress about how to perform these cuts that the whole rotten budget is in a logjam and refuses to budge. If we lived in a functioning country, that would either mean that lawmakers would engage in negotiations and compromise and work out a deal, or it would mean calling for elections to replace the legislators who are gumming up the works.
Instead, it means taking a two week vacation so that our elected officials can go beg for money from their corporate bosses.