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Bush’s 2006 budget will bring big cuts in domestic programs

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Rumors of large budget cuts began swirling in May 2004 when a White House budget memorandum warned government agencies that if Bush won reelection, his 2006 budget would seek cuts in education, veteran’s affairs, environmental protection, and urban development. While on the campaign trail, Bush boasted of his administration’s commitment to education and veteran affairs but his 2006 budget is expected to reduce the funding for the Department of Education to $1.5 billion from $1.7 billion, and cut Department of Veterans Affairs expenditures back below the 2004 level.

In an effort to restore what White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card called “very, very strong discipline,” the Women, Infants and Children nutrition “would be cut by $122 million. Head Start, the early-childhood education program for the poor, would lose… 2.5% of its budget…The $78 million funding increase that Bush has touted for a homeownership program in 2005 would be nearly reversed in 2006 with a $53 million cut [and the] National Institutes of Health spending would be cut 2.1%.”

Major funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will also be withheld. Most of the HUD programs will be moved into the Labor and Commerce departments forcing them to “compete for resources in Commerce and Labor budgets that are not likely to expand to accommodate the shuffle.” HUD could lose as much as a quarter of its $31 billion budget.

HUD’s $4.7 billion Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), which helps establish program clinics, recreation centers, day-care facilities, literacy programs and housing development could be cut by as much as 50%. All the while, skyrocketing housing and property values will likely create greater demand for CDBG grants.

Meanwhile, to avoid Democratic opposition, Budget Committee Chairman Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire “is laying plans to institute a procedure that would make it harder for Democrats to block benefit cuts.” Since the Budget Committee sets spending limits for other Senate committees, Gregg will “attach language to this year’s budget resolution instructing the committees with jurisdiction over some of the entitlement programs to cut them.” The subsequent cuts will be packaged within a single “reconciliation” bill which, unlike ordinary legislation, cannot be filibustered by Senate Democrats. Thus, Gregg’s plan “would allow senators to approve budget cuts with a simple majority, rather than the usual 60 votes.”

President Bush’s 2006 budget, scheduled for delivery on February 7th, will not include the estimated $2 trillion cost of privatizing social security. The University of Chicago estimates that under Pan II of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security (CSSS), private financial management companies are slated to collect $940 billion. Wall Street firms raised millions for Bush’s reelection campaign and have since “begun meeting with Congressional and White House staff members, pushing the idea that [Social Security] private accounts are not only good for the country but also good for business.”

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About Igor Volsky

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Nice to see Bush being responsible, but frankly the cuts you describe seem pretty trivial. Someone needs to buy him a big red paint brush to replace his tiny ballpoint.

    Dave

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    Love ya Igor, but don’t tease me with budget cuts that aren’t going to happen. Show me a cabinet area where there will actually be less funds spent than last year, and I’ll eat my rhetorical hat. This is the biggest spending president ever, on pretty much every level. Bill Clinton and his Democrats never dreamt of flushing money down the drain like this bunch.

    Heck, I’d be somewhat impressed even with the measly couple of percent actual cuts from this year’s numbers that you report, but it ain’t happening.

    Also, the reports sound really suspect. a White House budget memorandum warned government agencies that if Bush won reelection, his 2006 budget would seek cuts in education, veteran’s affairs, environmental protection, and urban development.
    Am I supposed to believe that the White House was circulating a document like this, announcing budget cuts in an election year?

    If there was such a document, wouldn’t Kerry have been out sounding the alarm, explaining how Dubya was planning to kill all the children and such?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Al,

    I remember that report being circulated during the ’04 campaign. For whatever reason, not much was made of it.

    It seemed like the Kerry campaign had a hard time making much of anything until very late in the Fall, didn’t it?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If that report had been circulated during the campaign it could have easily helped Bush rather than hurt him.

    BTW, are there REAL cuts or are they Democrat style cuts where they cut the rate of pre-determined growth and call it a cut even though the budgets actually still grow, just not as much as they could have?

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Dave – So the Republicans never play with numbers, figures, and projections?

    ~ Eric “Injecting the reality ’till it hurts” B.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Dave – So the Republicans never play with numbers, figures, and projections? << Good lord, who said that? I was curious if in this case they’re using that same bogus method or being more honest about the cuts. It’s possible that the bogusness of past recent cuts might work to their advantage, because now they could make real cuts and the cuts might not be taken as seriously in that context. Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Okay – You seemed to be implying that the Dems were the only ones who would lower themselves to such dastardly deeds as skewing numbers, projections, budget allocations, economic forecasts, and so on.

    As long as we’re clear that every party bends the truth at will until pretty much forced, under fear of a hot poker being stuck in the posterior, to more or less states things as they truly are.

    Then we can play ball.

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    Mr Berlin, I doubt you’d find a single Blogcritic who would tell you that the Republicans wouldn’t cook the books as quick and hard as the Democrats.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    And might I add that I’m not entirely opposed to cooking the books under some circumstances if it serves some necessary objective.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Yes, Mr. Barger, but the insinuations have been flying fast and hard of late that while the Republicans (it seems) are angelic, we can expect nothing but the following from their minority-status riddled Dem counterparts:

    – Lying
    – Cheating
    – General Tomfoolery
    – Evil of a Scale Unforeseen

    And so on.

    Therefore, I must take it upon myself to inject a little reason into the debate. I can put up with a lack of civility, I suppose, but irrationality drives me batty.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Eric. Evil is as evil does. Right now the evidence for accusations against the Democrats makes it difficult to defend them.

    Dave

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    What are they doing “right now,” Dave? They’re the minority party in Congress and the White House, so at most they’ll be a buffer against the Bush Administration’s more extreme policies over the next two years.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Or Republicans. They all use rhetoric to further their cause. And they all do it on the budget, too. I don’t see how you can claim it’s a Democratic tactic when it’s clearly a political tactic.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Hell, I just don’t like Democrats. Rationally I admit that they are probably not much worse than Republicans, but I find that their perfidy comes with an extra coating of smarmy elitist hypocrisy which I find distasteful.

    If I have to pick between the lesser of two evils I’ll stick with the one which doesn’t make me feel unclean after shaking its hand.

    Dave

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Well, now we’re getting somewhere!

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Dave — You must realize that what you say is as true as true can be for people (me included) who hang on the other side of the aisle. It’s too bad that things have gotten to where they are, but here we be.

    That being said, I try really hard to maintain an even keel, hear what all sides have to say, and remain open to new ideas. I do this in the hope that others will do the same.

    I’ve been toying with doing a “Moderate Republicans I Can Handle” post for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    If you make that post I’ll post about Democrats I find appealing. Truthfully, it’s not always the moderate Democrats who I find acceptable, it’s the few people in the party who seem to have personal integrity. I’ll even throw one out. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a damned fine fellow in many ways.

    Dave

  • Shamika

    Are these people kidding. First and foremost the Democrats and their affairs did not get thousands of people killed so talk about shaking a dirty hand shake hands with the Devil who is cuutting all of the programs for the poor. I am a veteran and one of those who will be affected by the tax cuts. So enough with the Republican bull.