Monday, February 4, 2008

Grim News about the Budget

The cruel war is raging. No not the one in Iraq but the one that is just now starting with the Bush Administration's invasion of the domestic budget for this year. Using the time worn technique of "Shock and Awe," Bush has blown gaping holes in domestic programs from A - Z. From the Washington Post and The Center For American Progress an initial casualty list of program cuts::

- Poison Control Centers - 62%
- Rural health programs - 87%
- Community Services Block Grant - 100%
- Health Care for 9/11 workers - 77%
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program - 22%
- Even Start (promotes family literacy) 100%
- Grants to states for classroom technology - 100%
- Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants - (for needy undergrads) - 100%
- Robert C. Byrd Scholarship Program - 100%
- The Safe and Drug-Free School Program - 64%
- Federal grants for security, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical teams - 50%

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - 430 Million
- Medicare - 170 BILLION over 5 years (cutting funds to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, ambulances and home care agencies.)
- Medicaid - 14 BILLION over 5 years

The total casualty list includes 151 domestic spending proposals.
The Bush budget plan would continue his first-term tax cuts beyond their 2011 expiration date, at a cost to the Treasury of $635 billion through 2013, extend abstinence education programs, create elementary and secondary education vouchers and guard other White House initiatives.

The president also takes aim at programs that Congress has guarded zealously -- and is likely to continue protecting. Among the programs Bush would eliminate are commodity price supports for farmers, research assistance to manufacturers, career and technical education grants, weatherization assistance, community development grants, graduate medical education at children's hospitals and a public housing revitalization program that the House just overwhelmingly reauthorized.

All of this destruction, death and chaos is expressly designed to protect the Tax Cuts that were put in place early in the Bush years. In spite of all the cuts, the budget contains the 2nd largest budget DEFICIT in history, over 400 BILLION dollars. In addition to protecting the tax cuts the Pentagon budget is being INCREASED by 7% to more than 500 BILLION per year plus supplemental funding for the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The battle is joined. Domestic spending.... America.... the homeland... is being invaded and our lives are at stake. Our government has chosen dramatically and forcefully to maintain a military that is being used for Imperialism and to maintain the cash cow of government contracts for big corporations. They've chosen to build bombs and military bases instead of building hospitals, roads, bridges, schools, and providing for the basic social and health care needs of the citizenry. They've chosen to buy guns, not butter. They've chosen tyranny, cruelty, wealth, hubris, and pride instead of compassion, democracy, "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

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