Monday, February 05, 2007
Bush's hallmark education initiative NCLB has not delivered and many American children have been left behind. Now, he expects us to believe his budget will be good for America. It will not, in fact it is MCLB --- the Middle Class Left Behind.
THE BUSH BUDGET:
More Debt, Deception and Unfairness for the Middle Class
President Bush has the worst fiscal record in history, having turned record surpluses into record deficits. His new budget is more of the same, calling for a substantial increase in debt that would force taxpayers to spend billions more on interest to foreign creditors.
* Federal debt will increase by $3.2 trillion since 2001 (to $9 trillion by end of FY07).
* Debt owed to foreigners has more than doubled, to over $2 trillion.
* Over 5 years, the Bush budget, even using its own numbers, increases debt by $2.5 trillion and forces taxpayers to pay $1.4 trillion in interest, much to foreign creditors.
* Budget continues to reject strong pay-as-you-go rules that worked in the 1990’s.
The President’s budget, once again, is based on deception and phony numbers. It hides huge costs and uses gimmicks that assume large savings without explaining their impact.
* Fails to account for full costs of Iraq war beyond 2008.
* Assumes deep future cuts in domestic priorities like education, without details.
* Ignores costs of fixing alternative minimum tax (AMT) beyond 2007.
* Hides long-term costs of proposals (e.g., delays Social Security privatization to 2012).
More Unfairness for Middle Class
While the middle class struggles with stagnant wages and rising prices, the President’s budget would only make matters worse...
* Underfunds State Children’s Health Insurance Program, jeopardizing existing health coverage and leaving millions of kids uninsured.
* Cuts about $300 billion over 10 years from Medicare and Medicaid.
* Increases Medicare premiums for many seniors.
* Threatens existing private health coverage; fails to help uninsured; drives up premiums.
* Cuts education funding by $2.3 billion in FY08 alone.
* Shortchanges veterans by cutting VA appropriations by $3.5 billion over 5 years.
* Weakens security protections by cutting first responder grant programs.
At the same time, the President insists on spending hundreds of billions for handouts to multi-millionaires and special interests like the oil and gas lobby...
* Tax breaks for those with million-plus incomes: more than $160,000 per year
-- Cost over ten years: $739 billion
* Continues wasteful tax breaks for oil and gas industry and royalties for oil industry.
* Continues Medicare overpayments to HMO’s and other managed care plans.
* Grants drilling rights in Alaska wilderness (ANWR) to energy industry.
* Continues tax breaks for multinational corporations that outsource jobs overseas.
* Privatizes Social Security, requiring deep benefit cuts and massive debt.
Democrats Will Reverse Course
Democrats will seek to work with their Republican colleagues to produce a bipartisan budget that is fiscally responsible and that puts the middle class first.
* Return to the tough pay-as-you-go budget discipline of the 1990’s.
* Balance the budget with real numbers.
* Put interests of the middle class over those of lobbyists for powerful special interests.
* Invest in high priorities like health care, education, and terrorism prevention.
* Work with members of both parties in a genuine effort to craft a bipartisan approach.