Does the Bush budget proposal go too far?
The President's new spending policies are designed to greatly bolster defense spending while cutting, or eliminating all together, domestic programs that are designed to assist the middle class and the poor.
During a time when Bush is increasing his Pentagon budget by 7 percent, he is slashing areas of education and health care. He proposes giving the Pentagon $439 billion, 45 percent greater than when he took office more than five years ago. Add on top of this the $33 billion earmarked for Homeland Security agencies, which are poorly operated and managed (the Hurricane Katrina disaster is evidence of this), not to mention another $70 billion or more on the war itself and we're seeing the greatest squandering of money since the cold war.
To support this bloated package of "pork", the President is either cutting or killing 141 domestic programs. Education, which is critically essential for the growth and stability of our country, is losing $2.1 billion that would fund student loan programs and vocational training. Health care is also being gouged, and as a result communities will lose disease prevention while nursing homes forfeit medicare financing. In addition, agriculture will receive less conservation, federal home heating aid will be greatly reduced in a time of soaring oil prices, and aid for the hungry will be placed on the chopping block when hunger is estimated to be rising at 10 percent a year since Bush took office.
Looking at his budget proposal, one has to wonder why the Pentagon would require such a largess of money. Terrorists don't rely on sophisticated missile systems to deliver pay loads, nor tanks, nor cannons, smart bombs, or any other assortment of high tech weaponry. Instead, they detonate road side bombs made of cannon shells or ammonium nitrate and diesel, and shoot rocket propelled grenades and small arms to wreak havoc upon the innocent. This hardly requires a vast defense budget, or is Bush now engaged in a new cold war with China, which we are making stronger by the minute with our huge trade deficits and their acquisition of military secrets, or is he plotting an invasion of Iran or North Korea?
Americans and Congress are going to have to scrutinize this budget proposal closely and decide if it is truly in America's best interests; especially, in a time of tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans and record deficits never before seen in American history. Once again, Bush has placed people's fears over their hopes, slashing 14 domestic programs that are needed to take the daily economic strain off the backs of the middle class and the poor. In reality, while domestic spending is gutted, corrupt defense contractors along with the greedy politicians and their lobbyists will fill their coffers with money that has in the past given the needy and middle class an opportunity to better their lives.