Author's Note: Back in June 2004, I wrote the article below in an attempt to warn voters about what was set to happen if Bush got reelected. After reading an article in the New York Times today which described Bush's plans to cut social programs, I decided to republish the article, which contains information about these very cuts the mainstream press should have made voters aware of before the election, when it might have made a difference.
Bush knew he couldn't have both. He had to make some serious choices. Basically he had to decide whether to have tax cuts for the rich, and a bogus war on terror that provides endless defense contracts to benefit his family and cronies, in and out of the administration, or to provide adequate funding for government programs that benefit US citizens. For Bush that was easy. To hell with the citizens.
According to a secret memo revealed by the Washington Post, Bush has already warned most federal agencies to expect major spending cuts in 2006 if he is reelected. The memo, which was discovered on May 19, 2004, instructs federal agencies to use proposed cuts in calculating their future budgets. Under its formula, spending would face substantial cuts in areas like veteran benefits, homeland security, education, nutrition programs, home ownership, and scientific research.
What Bush Says verses What He Does
While campaigning all over the country, Bush has been bragging about his 2005 budget increases in funding to the exact same programs he's targeted for funding cuts in 2006.
For example, on 5/13/04, in remarks on Expanding Opportunities for American Students and Workers, he bragged about adding $1.7 billion for education, saying, “Make no mistake about it; we're increasing the budgets at the federal level…So we're raising that bar; we're providing extra money,” when in fact Bush knows full well that he plans to cut $1.5 billion of that funding in 2006.
He also brags about increasing funding for Veterans by $519 million in 2005. But here again, he forgets to mention that he already has plans to cut $910 million of funding for services provided to America's 26.7 Million veterans in 2006.
In his 4/2/02 remarks on his Early Childhood Initiative, Bush said, “We've got to work with states to encourage states to develop a strategy ... that will not only give children the basics for reading, but give children the essential nourishment so that they can become ready to compete in the public school system in America.” Yet now we find out that he plans to cut funding for programs like the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program, which in 2005 will receive $4.7 billion. Under his 2006 budget guidelines, WIC will lose $177 million, which means over 185,00 women will be forced out of the program. This cut represents a broken promise to American children.
When he announced his Early Childhood Initiative, he also said, “We must make sure that every child enter school ready to learn -- every child -- not just one, not just a few, but every, single child. On this issue we know what works and we know our responsibilities. And as parents, teachers and care givers, we must give our children the life-long gift of early learning.” But as it turns out, this is another broken promise because Head Start, the pre-school educational program that helps lower-income children, is set to lose $177 million in 2006. This means that more than 20,000 kids will have to be cut from the program.
While the funding for the homeownership program gets a $78 million boost in 2005, this will be reversed in 2006 by a $53 million cut. And, after getting a $764 million increase in 2005 that brought its budget to $28.6 billion, the National Institute of Health spending will be cut back to $28 billion in 2006.
On 9/10/03, while speaking at the FBI Laboratory, Bush said, “America’s first responders need to be well equipped, and they need to be well trained. The federal government has a responsibility to help, and we’re meeting that responsibility.” Bush has changed his tune on this song as well. In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security will lose $1 billion in funding, leaving local governments across America with inadequate funding to support local first responders, information sharing and terrorist threat reduction.
The truth is that the cuts outlined above will reverse any election year increase that Bush has bragged about during his campaign. If reelected, his obsession with tax cuts for the rich and the creation of defense contracts (aka war profiteering) will result in slashed funding for just about every program set up to help the middle class wage earners and lower income families.
The most frightening aspect of this scenario is that if the media continues its failure to properly warn the public of what this administration is up to, Bush may be reelected, and his plans to cut funding for all these programs, that will affect the daily lives of average citizens, will be successful before Americans even know what hit them.
Evelyn J. Pringle is an Ohio-based investigative journalist, and a columnist for Independent Media TV. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (C) Copyright 2005 Evelyn J. Pringle.
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