Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Locals weigh in on Bush budget

Here's the first round of groans and protests:
  • Specter says the cuts are too large, pointing specifically to decreased support for transit and vetrans' benefits (while also tipping a hat to an education program created by fellow Pennsylvanian Fattah)
    "These cuts are unacceptable," Specter said. "We have a tremendous deficit we have to deal with, but the deficit is created by costs in Iraq and Afghanistan and an increase in the military budget and so all of this has to be very carefully considered. I'm going to take a close look at all of it as we work through the appropriations process."
  • Santorum (from the same article) is trying to walk the fine line between supporting Bush and still getting reelected next year, so says tentative things about Amtrak spending, in particular.
    "While I support the administration's disciplined efforts to cut the federal deficit in half within five years, I also support the careful review by Congress of each of the budget programs," Santorum said.
  • New Jersey's Senators (safely Dems) complain about the cuts in after-school programs
    "When billionaires get tax cuts, and our veterans and children are told to fend for themselves, something is very wrong," Lautenberg said.

    "If this budget is adopted, our communities, our safety, our schools, our health care, our air and water quality will be sacrificed to pay for President Bush's wrong choices," a Corzine statement said. "It's our veterans, seniors, kids, and the poor who will have to suffer..."
  • U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah vows to fight for his program GEAR UP, which helps prepare low-income students for college and is slated for $300 million in cuts.
    "This is a program, unlike others, in which there are actual, statistical indicators that show you the results. It works. It's successful."
    Fattah and others concerned with disadvantaged youth point out that the cuts in this and other programs dwarf the amount to be spent on Laura Bush's new anti-gang program.

  • Meanwhile, cuts in federal Medicaid spending are expected to cause problems for states already taking on a larger slice of healthcare costs than they can afford.
    Yesterday, Rendell said the state is "facing the crippling twin monster" of reduced federal funding for Medicaid and health-care costs that are rising at four times the rate of inflation.
Widespread cuts in valuable programs to fund all that tax "relief" for the upper classes. Should be some telling battles ahead.


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