Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I'm Jerry Brown, Jeff is Obama

Considering I'm not even an expert with balancing a checkbook, I wouldn't even pretend to understand how state and national budgets work.

However, I find this interesting. According to the 2012 Fiscal Year Federal Budget, President Obama proposes to make enormous increases in funding programs for the disabled. Calling it "Winning the Future for People with Disabilities," the budget (which you can read here) will:

Increase Funding for the Education of Children with Disabilities. The Budget provides a $200 million increase for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) State Grants to provide a high quality education and help offset State and local education costs for children with disabilities. The Budget also provides a $50 million (11 percent) increase for the IDEA Infants and Families Program to provide the youngest children a good start. In addition, a new $30 million joint pilot, Promoting Readiness of Minors in SSI (PROMISE), will develop and evaluate innovative approaches to improving outcomes of children receiving Supplemental Security Income and their families.

•Support Workers with Disabilities

•Expand Disability Research.

•Strengthen Independent Living.

•Assist Programs for Youth with Disabilities.

•Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Enforcement.

•Expand Research into Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
*Expand research, detection, treatment, and other activities related to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by ASD through increasing funding for programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration. NIH will pursue comprehensive and innovative approaches to defining the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to ASD, investigate epigenomic changes in the brain, and accelerate clinical trials of novel pharmacological and behavioral interventions by 2016. NIH will continue to investigate environmental factors, early detection, and novel treatments to transform our understanding of ASD.

•Help Families Care for Aging and Relatives with Disabilities.

•Support for Employment of People with Disabilities in the Federal Workforce.

These increases would alleviate the drastic cuts in special needs services California Governor Jerry Brown is proposing. Suddenly, a light bulb is going off in my head. Is that how states get the government to foot the bill, threaten to cut critical resources to get their attention? Because let's be honest, would the government stand up and take notice if Brown's proposal was to cut something that wouldn't completely destroy the future of our state?

Let's break it down...

If this were going on in my house, I'd play the role of Jerry Brown, Jeff will play Obama. I'm maxed out with resources and can't fit another thing into my jam-packed day. The only way around it is to make drastic cuts. But if I propose cuts that don't create an uproar, would he even notice?

"Honey, the household duties are way too much for me to handle in 24 hours a day, so I'm going to make some cuts."

PROPOSAL #1: I'll have to volunteer in the classroom less, not have occasional time with my friends and will have to wax my own eyebrows.

No reaction.

PROPOSAL #2: I'll have to reduce all meals, laundry and attention by 20 percent (that would be 1/5 of our family of five - in case you weren't paying attention) and eliminate relations from my schedule."

Wait! I can help around the house more!

Bingo. Got his attention and what I need to get it all done and avoid anarchy. Although I'm a teeny bit relieved that some of these cuts might not happen after all, at least I don't have to share my help with 49 other wives...

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