Friday :: Feb 11, 2005

Bush Waits Until Late Friday To Release Specific Cuts In Children's and Law Enforcement Programs


by Steve

The Bush White House is legendary for waiting until late Friday afternoon to dump its bad or dangerous news upon the media. Today was no exception as the White House released its full list of programs that Bush wants to shut down so that he can maintain his tax cuts for the wealthy. After seeing some of the programs that are on Bush’s hit list, I can see why they wanted to slither out of town before telling the media what they want to chop while offering more tax breaks to the wealthy.

President Bush's budget plan calls for elimination or drastic reduction 68 federal programs that he has never targeted before, including vocational-education grants, emergency medical services for children and assistance to local law enforcement agencies, according to a list the White House released yesterday.
The 68 programs are among 154 the Bush administration singled out for termination or major reduction to help restrain spending in the $2.57 trillion budget for fiscal 2006 he sent to Congress on Monday. Many of the 154 were recycled from previous budgets that Congress rejected before and they are unlikely to be accepted this year either.
But Bush went beyond the perennial cuts to take aim at a range of other federal services that for the first time he deemed ineffective or inessential, focusing mainly on education, health, social services and law enforcement. The 68 new targets will help shape the contours of the budget battle set to begin on Capitol Hill as lawmakers from both parties prepare to pick apart the Bush plan and rally behind favored programs.
The White House released the list of program cuts in response to congressional requests, sending it to lawmakers late on a Friday afternoon, when it would receive relatively little attention heading into the weekend.
"Given the impact of these cuts on average American working families, it is no surprise that the administration would want to hide them in the dark by slipping them under the door after the sun has gone down," said Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.), the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
The programs proposed for elimination include big-ticket items, such as $1.2 billion for vocational education, as well as smaller services, such as the National Youth Sports Program, an $18 million effort that has provided athletics for low-income children for more than three decades. Grants for the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, totaling $437 million, "are spread too thinly to support quality interventions," the report said, and would be zeroed out.
Health and Human Services programs would face significant cuts. The Bush plan would kill seven Health Resources and Services Administration programs that earmark money for emergency medical services for children, hospital construction, traumatic brain injury and newborn hearing screening. Despite the national rise in child obesity, the White House wants to eliminate a $59 million media campaign to encourage children ages 9 to 13 to be more physically active, judging it redundant given similar drives by Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

That’s right, you son of a bitch, go after the kids while giving further tax breaks to the wealthy.

Bush also deemed unnecessary a $6 million 10-year-old program that helps timber workers in the Northwest earn a living as logging opportunities decline and a $10 million four-year-old program that helps rural communities buy fire engines.

Sure, let’s complain about environmental regulations that cost loggers their jobs and then pull the rug out from under those same loggers whey they try and start a new career. And I’m sure those red state voters in those hundreds of rural counties you carried will love that you’re pulling the assistance to buy them fire engines at a time when we are buying brand new fire engines for Baghdad.

Among the biggest programs that would be shuttered is the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, a $626 million effort created last year to help state and local police fight violent and drug-related crime. The White House argued that it should be closed since crime is in decline and the program's importance pales in comparison with "increasing federal counterterrorism efforts and reducing the federal deficit."

Yup, the law and order president is gutting law enforcement’s efforts to fight violent and drug-related crime while ensuring that the wealthy will still get their tax breaks to live in their gated communities.

The gall and hypocrisy is amazing, isn’t it. Forget about the Democrats causing him problems, his own party isn’t going to do many of these things.

Democrats should make a list of George W. Bush’s moral values, showing these specific cuts alongside the new tax breaks he wants in this same budget for the wealthy. And that list should be rammed down the media’s throat on the Sunday chatfests for the next several weeks.

These are George W. Bush's moral values, and the Democrats should be pounding these cuts over and over into the heads of the public in the coming weeks until his own party walks away from him.

Steve :: 9:26 PM :: Comments (13) :: Digg It!