Monday, February 04, 2008

Bush "Break The Bank" Budget - No Money For Poor Kids, Billions For War!

I was staggered by the budget proposal from President Bush this week. Not so much because of the sheer size of it, but because of where the priorities lay. But first off, the $3.1 trillion dollars is an immense amount, something inconceivable when you try to envision it.

Imagine a stack of one dollar bills just high enough to equal Bush’s war budget of $687.9 billion and you have a stack over 45,570 miles high! That’s just for defense and war spending. The rest of the budget again runs into the inconceivable territory.

According to the White House, and this is in Bush’s own words, “Thanks to the hard work of the American people and spending discipline in Washington, we are now on a path to balance the budget by 2012,” he says, “Our formula for achieving a balanced budget is simple: Create the conditions for economic growth, keep taxes low and spend taxpayer dollars wisely or not at all.”

So just where in this record breaking budget is the wise spending? Well for a start he wants to eliminate social programs including 47 in the Department of Education alone as well as significant cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. Conversely his defense spending when adjusted for inflation is the highest since World War II.

Just where is that balanced budget going to come from? Most likely from the sweat and tears of middle class and poor Americans. Meanwhile, he is encouraging making the tax cuts he put in place to benefit the richest Americans permanent. If there was ever a case of “balancing the budget on the backs of the poor” this budget is it.
Luckily the Democratic controlled congress is not responding well to the news.

Democrats are likely to push for increased spending on social programs, and fewer tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals. I certainly hope they succeed, otherwise we will all be watching the country’s wealth funnel directly into the pockets of the rich, without even a paltry few social programs benefiting the average American.

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