leaked White House memo shows that if George Bush
is re-elected, he will make large cuts in many
government programs, including both homeland security
and veterans programs, while again cutting the
taxes of the wealthy.
to America╣s war dead, President Bush told an
audience at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial
Day that "America acknowledges a debt that is
beyond our power to repay." Many of the nation╣s
26 million living veterans, some of whom were
wounded in wars, some of whom are old and frail,
are wondering if President Bush is interested
in repaying the debt owed to them. Veterans, as
well as other Americans, are asking, where is
George Bush's "compassionate conservatism"?
memorandum from the White House Budget Office,
recently obtained by the Associated Press from
congressional sources who requested anonymity,
instructs government agencies to prepare for massive
cuts to domestic programs in 2006, even as the
administration pushes for $1 trillion in new tax
ball is now out for everyone to see," said Senator
Bob Graham (Democrat--Florida). "The only thing
that's left in place is the part of the ball that
is labeled îtax cuts for my rich friends.╣"
fat cats will get their tax cuts," writes Bob
Herbert in The New York Times. "But in the new
American plutocracy, there won't even be crumbs
left over for the working folks at the bottom
of the pyramid to scramble after."
old Republican game," says disabled Vietnam veteran
Phil Hartman. "Raise the defense budget and make
military veterans pay for the cost. Ronald Reagan
did the same thing. George Bush is now doing it."
revealed in the White House memo, with the exception
of the Defense Department which would grow 5.2
percent to $422.7 billion and the Justice Department
which would increase 4.3 percent to $19.5 billion,
in the 2006 budget nearly every major domestic
program would be slated for large decreases.
Veterans Affairs Department budget would fall
3.4 percent from $29.7 billion in 2005 to $28.7
billion. This would include a $910 million cut
to the existing veterans health care budget and
a $53 million cut for the homeownership program,
nearly reversing the $78 million funding increase
that Bush pledged for a homeownership program
the last four years, the Bush Administration has
been encouraging congressional Republicans to
reduce veterans╣ benefits and health care; most
of the time they backed down in the face of strong
Democratic opposition. Now the administration
seems to have switched tactics: give today to
take away even more tomorrow. The 2006 budget
appears to be only the beginning of the administration╣s
drive to decrease the veterans╣ budget.
candidate John Kerry has strongly criticized the
Bush Administration for not honoring "the national
obligation" to our military veterans and promises
that if he is elected there will be "a new compact
with veterans" that includes fully funding the
year the head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars
called a similar Bush Administration budget "disgraceful"
and "deplorable." In the coming years, if Bush
is relected, we can expect the VFW to use words
like "even more disgraceful" and "even more deplorable."
money for domestic security at the Homeland Security
Department and other agencies, a budget John Kerry
has promised to increase, a budget that would
seem to be immune from any cuts, would drop by
3 percent, from $30.6 billion in 2005 to $29.6
billion. As CBS╣s 60 Minutes pointed out last
week, the large corporations have gotten their
money for domestic security, only the States have
not been paid. Time to cut the budget!
document reveals that the Bush Administration
is also ordering cuts in the following agencies:
2.4 percent less for the Education Department;
2.6 percent less for the Environmental Protection
Agency; 2.1 percent for the National Institutes
of Health; 1.9 percent less for the Interior Department.
the Administration is requesting a $1 trillion
reduction in taxes, with most of the reduction
going to the wealthiest Americans.
only way we can even begin to pay for these huge
tax cuts is by imposing cuts on critical government
services," said Thomas Kahn, Democratic staff
director of the House Budget Committee. "Despite
[administration] denials, this memorandum confirms
what we suspected all along," Kahn said. "Next
February, the administration plans to propose
spending cuts in key government services to pay
for oversized tax cuts."
of the targeted programs are widely popular,"
writes Alan Fram of the Associated Press. "Cuts
could carry a political price for a president
who has touted his support for schools, the environment
and other domestic initiatives."
revelation of the Bush Administration╣s plans
to cut back on popular federal programs, programs
that on the campaign trail George Bush is now
supporting, is not only a political embarrassment,
but a serious attack on the president's personal
credibility. Plans to slash programs such as Head
Start for children, homeownership, job-training,
medical research and science programs, as well
as homeland security and veterans programs, should
come at a heavy political cost to a president
whose standing in the polls continues to decline.
The political cost should be his defeat in November.
Stewart Nusbaumer is editor of Intervention Magazine.
can email Stewart at Stewart@interventionmag.com
Posted: June 1, 2004