2006 Budget Perhaps Losing Some of Its Gloom

Bush’s budget wanted to strip out a lot of so-called “entitlement” programs. That is, Bush doesn’t like it when the government takes our money and then gives it back to us where it’s needed most – like to old people, poor people, education for our people and basic health care. Even firefighters and police forces.

However, giving more money to the defense department is good, as is federal “police forces” like the Department of Homeland Security.

But something interesting happened in the Senate yesterday. They voted to remove Bush’s cuts to the Medicaid program which amounted to around $14 billion. They also restored $2 billion back into urban development grants.

While Bush wanted to cut Medicaid and urban development grants, totaling $16 billion, he wanted at the same time to give the pentagon around $20 billion more to their already existing budget of $400 billion.

None of that increase to the Pentagon pays for the war, which is expected to cost $100 billion more this year. That money comes from emergency appropriations, which is totally separate from their budget.

At the same time he’s trying to stop giving money back to people who need it, like poor, sick, and old people, he’s actually putting in more tax breaks for the richest people again – including some excellent capital gains tax breaks.

By giving more of these tax breaks to the wealthiest, it means the government has far less money coming in. And if the government is concerned about budget deficits, why is it so purposefully taking in less money? Don’t they need that extra money? Or is it better to cut out the money we spend to help our own people?

I guess maybe it’s back to that whole idea of the redistribution of wealth issue that first year philosophy students always seem to discuss. Maybe this is why he wants education money cut so badly.

At least some people in the Senate may have taken a few philosophy courses. Or maybe they just don’t want to upset the people who elect them. I hope it’s the former, at least as much as the latter.

Finally some good news.

Then again, the Department of Homeland Security will get around $42 billion. That’s an increase of about $2.5 billion. The Department of Education will have $0.5 billion cut – down to $56 billion. The Perkins loan program will be ended (low interest loans for students), but they’ll increase the Pell Grant by $100.