The U.S. Budget Is A Looming Crisis

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Editor:

Once again, President Bush is saying one thing and doing another. You might have heard him say that he's proposing more money for things like education and medical research.

But that's not the whole story.

The 2005 Bush budget actually offers less money for education, veterans, medical research, and seniors over the next five years. And it locks those cuts in, so the impact will be long-term and difficult to reverse.

Bush told us his economic policy, mainly consisting of tax cuts, would help average Americans. But the tax cuts have not created new jobs for Americans who need them. That's another story altogether.

Instead, his economic policies have created the biggest budget deficit in history. And that deficit, created largely by the tax cuts, will force cuts in vital programs that millions of us depend on.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

  • 63,000 fewer pre-schoolers will able to participate in the Head Start program.
  • 450,000 fewer women and children will be able to get nutritional assistance.
  • Funding for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA, and community health centers would be cut by 11 percent, or $5.6 billion.
  • Funding for veterans' health services will be cut by $5.7 billion compared to 2004 levels.

You can read about it at http://www.cbpp.org/2-27-04bud2.pdf.

President Bush wants to continue to reduce taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans -- dividend and estate taxes -- while raising taxes on the working poor and eliminating tax breaks for the middle class.

Bush and his allies are saying we have to cut back on education, veterans assistance, and the environment in order to reduce the deficit. But in reality, the costs of his tax cuts outweigh the savings from cutting these programs -- so cumulative deficits will grow by $200 billion over the next 5 years.

The massive tax cuts passed over the past three years of the Bush administration have diverted billions of dollars from health care, education, children, the working poor, law enforcement, agriculture, and the environment -- all to give tax breaks to millionaires.

That's great news if you're a millionaire. The rest of us are in a crisis and don't know it.

Larry Brophy, Payson

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