Starving the Beast 2: Mentally Disabled Kids Jailed

The consequences of the radcons ‘starve the beast’ strategy can be ugly. In a recent speech, Bill Moyers said:

These deficits have been part of their strategy. Some of you will remember that Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan tried to warn us 20 years ago, when he predicted that President Ronald Reagan’s real strategy was to force the government to cut domestic social programs by fostering federal deficits of historic dimensions. Reagan’s own budget director, David Stockman, admitted as much. Now the leading rightwing political strategist, Grover Norquist, says the goal is to “starve the beast” — with trillions of dollars in deficits resulting from trillions of dollars in tax cuts, until the United States Government is so anemic and anorexic it can be drowned in the bathtub.There’s no question about it….

No, there isn’t, and in the real world, not the FantasyLand of Publican ‘optimism’, this is what it means:

WASHINGTON, July 7 – Congressional investigators said Wednesday that 15,000 children with psychiatric disorders were improperly incarcerated last year because no mental health services were available.The figures were compiled by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Government Reform in the first such nationwide survey of juvenile detention centers.

“The use of juvenile detention facilities to warehouse children with mental disorders is a serious national problem,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who sought the survey with Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California.

The study, presented at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, found that children as young as 7 were incarcerated because of a lack of access to mental health care. More than 340 detention centers, two-thirds of those that responded to the survey, said youths with mental disorders were being locked up because there was no place else for them to go while awaiting treatment. Seventy-one centers in 33 states said they were holding mentally ill youngsters with no charges. (emphasis added)

Social Darwinism in action is not a pretty sight. It isn’t forgivable, either.

(Cross-posted at Omnium)

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