How Bush's Budget Impacts People in Need
Because Iraq and Iran are dominating the headlines, Bush's budget hasn't been receiving much attention. This is from the Coalition on Human Needs:
The Bush Administration’s FY 2008 budget would make its tax cuts permanent.
Between FY 2008 and FY 2017, these tax cuts will hand $739 billion to millionaires alone,
and will total $3.4 trillion in lost revenue, according to the Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities. In order to pay for these tax breaks for the non-needy and to increase
funding for the military, the budget cuts vital services for the poor, near-poor, and
middle class. A budget that puts first things first would invest in these services. The
Bush budget does the opposite.
The choices in the Bush budget are clear. In FY 2008, spending for education, housing,
the environment, and all the other programs requiring annual appropriations will total
nearly $392 billion in the Bush budget, $13 billion below the cost of keeping up with
inflation. The examples below show the results of such a squeeze: hundreds of
thousands of children losing health coverage and child care; hundreds of thousands of
low-income seniors losing modest packages of food aid and housing assistance. In the
President’s proposal for FY 2008, special education, vocational education, and higher
education are all cut below FY 2006 levels. These are just a few of the failures to invest
in giving people a chance to build better lives for themselves. On the other hand, in FY
2008, people with incomes of a million or more will receive $55 billion from the tax cuts
enacted since 2001, according to the Senate Budget Committee.
The Coalition on Human Needs, working with the Emergency Campaign for America’s
Priorities (ECAP), is calling upon Congress to move substantially towards meeting the
nation’s needs by providing $450 billion for domestic annually appropriated programs
(domestic discretionary programs, including homeland security) in its Budget
Resolution for FY 2008. That would help us to invest in education and training, public
health, child care, housing, and much more. Is $58 billion above the President’s figure
unaffordable? Most of it could be paid for by eliminating next year’s tax cut for
millionaires. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out that the
discretionary cuts will escalate in the next five years under the President’s proposal. In
2012, domestic discretionary programs will be cut by $34 billion, while millionaires will
receive $73 billion in tax breaks. These are the wrong choices.