Budget Cuts Slam the Poor
Republicans say in order to offset Katrina spending, they have no choice but to push for a massive five-year $50 billion budget cut plan. Funding for fostercare, medicaid, food stamps and student loans would be slashed if the plan is approved.
Here's what's on the table:
*Reduce spending on food stamps by more than $1 billion - the food stamp program puts food on the table for 25 million people each month
*Cut $10 billion from Medicaid and Medicare - The Finance Committee's 11 Republicans supported the cut on Tuesday; the committee's nine Democrats opposed it.
*Reduce spending on foster care by nearly $600 million - the plan would cease payments to children taken from the home of impoverished grandparents or other relatives who are not their parents, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
*Reduce spending to federal student aid programs by $7.5 billion -- add that to $14 billion in previous cuts and you've got the largest-ever education cuts in history
These budget cuts come just weeks before Republicans send a $70 billion tax cut plan to the Senate floor and two months after Bush signed the $14.5 billion energy bill that gives billions in tax breaks to the very oil companies that are reporting record profits. Bush also signed the $286 bllion transportation bill in August, which channels hundreds of million of dollars into projects that critics say have nothing to do with improving congestion or efficiency.