« Oscars: Model for Democracy | Main | Why are Conservatives Obsessed with Black "Racism"? »

January 09, 2005

Poor in Crosshairs of Bush Budget

Bush's first term was four years of fiscal irresponsibility, as highlighted by this graph:


Having created this fiscal mess through paying off the wealthy through tax cuts and military contracts, the administration now seeks to tighten the budget through a tourniquet on spending for the poor:

Administration officials and Congressional aides said Mr. Bush would also seek cuts in housing assistance for low-income families...The spending plan for 2006, like the appropriations enacted for this year, would give priority to military operations and domestic security over social welfare programs.
Even Republican governors are attacking these plans, particularly plans to slash Medicaid. Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, vice chairman of the the National Governors Association, recently said this:
"I certainly understand the need to balance the federal budget. But people need to remember that to balance the federal budget off the backs of the poorest people in the country is simply unacceptable. You don't pull feeding tubes from people. You don't pull the wheelchair out from under the child with muscular dystrophy."
"Pulling the wheelchair" out from under the disabled-- now that's a good image to club the White House with.

Update: It's remarkable that conservatives admit that Bush's budgetary policies in his first term were all about fooling the public about his long term priorities. Now that he's been reelected, he's free to launch a broader assault on domestic welfare. As Captain's Quarters explains:

In wartime, these should have been the spending priorities all along. However, Bush took the long view on his re-election and tried to build a record of being all things to all people in his first term... Now Bush has no more elections to win and one term left to make the US as secure and solvent as possible.
Bush didn't run on slashing domestic programs-- in fact, he proudly trumpeted his education and Medicare prescription laws -- but his supporters applaud this bait-and-switch politics. For all the conservative electoral strength, it's remarkable that they lack the confidence to honestly articulate their policies in elections.

Posted by Nathan at January 9, 2005 07:32 AM