March 16, 2006

FEDERAL BUDGET BATTLE LOOMS AGAIN

Last year an impressive coalition of religious, labor, community, and advocacy groups fought hard to oppose drastic cuts to social programs in the federal budget. While not able to stop $40 billion in cuts to Medicaid, student loans, child care, and other programs, they were able to limit some of the damage to low income and working families.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration's proposed budget for this year includes more of the same, including $182 billion in cuts over five years to domestic programs excluding homeland security. Medicaid would take another hit, as would student aid. Vocational education programs would be cut or eliminated. Head Start would be frozen, a step which the National Head Start Association said would cause 19,000 fewer children to be served. Food packages to the elderly would be stopped as would housing programs aimed for this population. You get the idea.

You may have guessed the rest of it: the budget also includes $285 billion in tax cuts, including making permanent those set to expire as well as new ones. According to the Coalition on Human Needs, "Although the service cuts hit people with low to moderate incomes hardest, they get very little out of the tax cuts. On the other hand, millionaires will average $136,000 a year in tax breaks..."

For a detailed analysis of the budget from CHN check

www.chn.org/pdf/FY07BudgetAnalysis.pdf

So it's once more unto the Breach...

GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED

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