On February 7, President Bush rolled out his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2006. In addition to a stratospheric $427 billion deficit, the budget also contains over $200 billion in cuts to domestic discretionary programs. Many of these rollbacks hit low-income families the hardest by cutting programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, and low-income housing. The budget clearly demonstrates the priorities of the Bush administration: while it extends the tax cuts for the wealthy, costing the government $1.4 trillion in revenue over the next ten years (see analysis here), it slashes support for programs that assist students and veterans. From all across the country, Americans are speaking out against Bush’s wrong budget priorities, which leave so many Americans behind.
Los Angeles, Calif. – Los Angeles Times
February 9, 2005 – Letter to the Editor
“Bush’s budget is out; cuts for everyone. The poor and disabled get cuts in food stamps, in child care for working women, in benefits for children on Medicaid, in subsidized housing and other programs to assist families with kids. The cuts apply to the wealthy too – millionaires get their taxes cut.”
Memphis, Tenn. – The Commercial Appeal
February 10, 2005 – Letter to the Editor
“President Bush’s new budget could rip a fresh, gaping hole in the nation’s already tattered health care safety net. He wants to cut federal funding of Medicaid, a program that provides health care coverage for more than 22 million children nationwide…
“We need to protect the most vulnerable among us – the youngest, the poorest and the sickest who have no other options. We need to ensure adequate levels of care for children, including those with disabilities
“The impact of these cuts will also likely go beyond those immediately affected. Several studies have shown that substantial Medicaid cuts can weaken state economies and increase unemployment.
“The escalating war costs and huge deficits are undeniable. But this isn’t a choice to make based only on numbers. It is a choice to make based on our values and priorities. We should redouble our efforts to care for those who need help the most – our children. We should say no to harmful Medicaid cuts.”
Palm Beach, Fla. – Palm Beach Post
February 18, 2005 – Letter to the Editor
“Veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan will find that the Bush administration is paying for war by cutting their health-care and survivor benefits.
“The president’s budget includes a provision that would double the co-payment many veterans pay for prescription drugs and charge a new fee of $250 for enrollment in the government program. Vets who used to have a $7 co-pay for prescriptions will have to pay $15. The increased costs could drive about 200,000 vets out of the system, according to one congressional analysis. This is a grateful nation?”
New York City, N.Y. – Washington Square News (NYU)
February 15, 2005 – Editorial
“The latest assault on federal financial aid comes in cutting Perkins Loans and requiring stricter eligibility standards to receive Pell Grants. The administration has championed the cuts as student-friendly because the maximum Pell award increased by about $100 per recipient. But this one positive aspect does not counteract all the downsides.
“It will be significantly harder to qualify for a Pell Grant, so while the students who do receive them will get slightly more money – although, we should note, $100 won’t even cover textbooks for the semester – many other needy students will be left with nothing.
“[M]illions of youths across the country depend on Pell Grants to help finance their educations. Now, they will be forced to seek monetary assistance elsewhere.
“While the president claims to have made grant increases his top priority, it’s hard to see his budget as anything less than an assault on low-income students. In addition to cutting Perkins loans, he has also slashed mentoring and tutoring programs that help low-income students prepare for college.”
Charlotte, N.c= – Charlotte Observer
February 15, 2005 – Letter to the Editor
“President Bush’s recent budget proposal would leave afterschool programs across the nation with less than half the money promised in the No Child Left Behind Act. The proposal shortchanges children, families and communities that rely on afterschool programs to keep kids safe, help working families and inspire children to learn. Yes, America faces difficult budget choices, but adequate funding for afterschool is an investment that pays dividends for decades.”
Fort Collins, Colo. – Fort Collins Coloradoan
February 15, 2005 – Letter to the Editor
“President Bush claims that his budget will bolster security while ‘culling inefficient or redundant’ social programs.
“While backing a defense budget of almost $420 billion he’s slashing funding to police and firefighters – those he is so fond of referring to as ‘our first-line defenders.’ One $600 million police grant will be cut to $60 million, while a $300 million program for incarcerating illegal aliens who commit crimes will be eliminated entirely.”
For more information on the budget, please visit our budget webpage.