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Editorial: Speak up to protect low-income families

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It's time for West Central Minnesota citizens speak up to fight proposed federal budget cuts in social programs.

All the counties in the region would feel the impact of the $50 billion in cuts proposed under a bill in Congress. The Senate has passed the bill and it is awaiting action in the House.

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In order to balance the federal budget growth due to Iraq war spending and disaster relief in the United States, some in Congress want to cut federal spending from primarily social programs.

Such cuts would be devastating for county budgets and poor Americans according to Larry Kleindl, Kandiyohi County Family Services director.

He is right. The impact would be felt in many areas.

The proposal would include more than $9.5 billions in cuts to Medicaid over the next five years. The majority of these cuts would be made up from increased co-payments and premiums, which would hit low-income Americans.

Food stamps would be hit with an $844 million cut over five years.

Child support enforcement would be cut by $4.9 billion over five years.

And supplemental security income would be cut $425 million over five years. All of these cuts would be hard for America's low-income families to absorb as they are all ill-prepared.

These cuts are unacceptable considering that the administration will not bend on its tax cuts for the upper income classes.

Everyone should step up to support the needy and call their congressmen to reject these budget cuts.

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