SCHIP Showdown: What's "Irresponsible"?

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This weekend offered one of those damnably clarifying contrasts.

In his radio address, President Bush blasted as "irresponsible" Democrats who seek a $30 billion expansion of the SCHIP child healthcare program to cover another 4 million middle class American kids whose parents can't swing the cost of health insurance. The president has vowed to veto the Democrats' bill, threatening the future of SCHIP as it stands — funding of the existing program will expire without a presidential signature.

Yet this same same weekend, Bush asked congress to pour another $195 billion dollars into the budgetary sinkhole that is Iraq (and to a much lesser extent Afghanistan). That's $47 billion more than the administration previously projected for 2008 — and a 12 percent increase over 2007's war budget.

Leaving children and their parents struggling with medical bills in order to pay for Operation Open-Ended Occupation, Bush said, is just another way of doing his "duty to spend the taxpayer's money wisely."

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