Wednesday, March 15, 2006

FY07 Budget

from The Center for American Progress' The Progress Report

A Blueprint For Fiscal Disaster

This week, the Senate is debating the 2007 budget resolution, a blueprint for how Congress plans to allocate $2.8 trillion in federal spending next year. The federal budget is a concrete embodiment of policy choices, a moral document that reflects the values and priorities of our nation. The budget that the Senate is currently debating runs counter to many of our nation's longest and deepest held beliefs; it prioritizes tax cuts for the rich and wasteful spending in the defense budget while shortchanging veterans benefits, education, health care, energy research, homeland security, housing for the elderly and disabled, and child care for working families. The Washington Post writes, "[I]t's time to pause and consider the unabashed recklessness of the Bush administration's fiscal policies and its unwillingness to alter its tax-cutting course to accommodate new budgetary realities." Indeed, while President Bush and his conservative allies claim their cuts to domestic programs are needed measures to assert fiscal discipline, the reality is that the Senate budget plan would actually increase the deficit over the next five years by $266 billion.

I like the way that they approached this. A "moral document". Nice.

Then again, republicans pay lip service to a lot of things and rarely do they follow through. I'll give one example:

By SUDEEP REDDY / The Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON – The nation's previous energy crises inspired presidential calls for sweeping action and billions of dollars in new funding to address consumers' soaring energy bills.

President Bush appears to be taking a far different approach, at least when it comes to funding. Administration officials are touring the nation this week touting renewable energy programs, but they're doing so with overall funding that barely grows from previous years. Some long-running programs for renewable energy research and energy efficiency have been gutted in the president's latest budget proposal.

I'm not sure whether Bush's newfound commitment to energy independence is an actual change of heart based on national security concerns, or whether it's a bow to political reality. A new poll by Public Agenda shows nearly half of Americans giving the government a failing grade on this issue. Nearly 90 percent said the lack of energy independence jeopardizes national security (well, duh!) and "85 percent of respondents said the U.S. government could do something about energy dependence if it tried. The share of those who worried foreign conflicts will drive up oil prices or cut off supplies rose to 55 percent from 42 percent in the August poll.

"Since the August index was published, the U.S. energy chessboard has been rearranged by a broad energy reform law going into effect, a two-hurricane punch that shut in domestic oil production, sudden spikes in oil prices spurred by geopolitics, and record oil company profits."

So the public might actually be getting a clue!

The rest of the budget is similarly crap. The cost of the war is forcing cuts in crucial services like child care and health care. And much of the war funding, especially aid to Iraq, "cannot be accounted for." And now for the sentence that nobody dares utter for some reason - A lot of money that was appropriated for "Iraq reconstruction" has simply been stolen.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?