by David Safier

I shouldn't have read the Star story about cuts to DES this early in the morning. I should have waited until a few cups of coffee strengthened my emotional defenses against this kind of thing.

Opening paragraph:

An agency that helps at-risk families in Tucson and across Arizona laid off 63 employees Tuesday, a loss that cuts deeply into a program that helps protect newborn babies.

It just gets worse when you get into the details:

A majority of the agency's cuts were in Southern Arizona communities, he said, "where services are already limited." There were 19 employees laid off in Tucson. The agency now has 198 employees statewide, in offices including Yuma and Bullhead City as well as Sierra Vista, Douglas, Safford and Nogales.

[snip]

[Eric E. Schindler, president of the Tucson-based Child & Family Resources Inc.] said his agency is bracing for more bad news, too, as DES also has announced plans to cut child-care subsidies for the "working poor." The agency also announced other cuts Tuesday.

[snip]

"We will see more children who are in need and there will be no services for them. We will see children who are left home alone because their parents cannot afford child care while they work," [Penelope Jacks, director of the Southern Arizona office of the Children's Action Alliance] said.

"Honestly, I think we are going to see more children die."

[snip]

The cuts also will impact the agency's Choices for Families program, which is similar to Healthy Families but focuses on children of all ages who are in at-risk homes.

OK, Rep. Kavanagh, it's time for some disparaging comments about all these Boys Crying Wolf. I'm waiting for you to tell us the cuts won't be fatal to the children affected by the cuts. They'll only become a little sicker and a little more abused. [UPDATE: Looks like Gould decided to field this one, not Kavanagh in another Star article about the DES cuts: "You try to make it look like the cuts you receive are really extreme," Sen. Ron Gould of Lake Havasu City said. "We see a lot of that political grandstanding going on now."]

I'm beginning to believe what I've heard some people say, that for conservative pro-Lifers, life ends at birth.

"Budget cuts are the only item on the table," the Rs said as they slashed services. Let it be on their heads.