TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sam R. Hall
Office: (601) 969-2913
Cell: (601) 832-8909
Bush Budget Bad For Mississippi
President Bush yesterday unveiled a budget proposal that will devastate the people of Mississippi by cutting programs such as Medicaid, doing away with development grants and capping payments to individual farms.
"In the worst economic reversals of all time, the president directly responsible for our ballooning deficit is now passing the burden on to the poorest and hardest working people in the nation," state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Dowdy said. "Instead of finding ways to create jobs, support our farmers and improve our health care system, President Bush is seeking to do just the opposite."
The president's $2.7 trillion budget will cut or eliminate 141 programs vital to the American people while increasing military spending and national security programs by as much as 5 percent, continuing his path of wasteful spending on a war with no end in sight while the lead terrorists responsible for the attacks on our nation remain free.
"In his State of the Union address, President Bush said he would cut the deficit he created in half by 2009. With this budget, that will not happen," Dowdy said. "This budget is more of the same: throwing good money at a bad war when our president seems to have no clear strategy to bring peace to that region and return our soldiers home to their family and friends."
The Bush budget includes the following staggering items:
- $36 billion cut in Medicare spending, with specific cuts in payments to hospitals and long-term facilities.
- Expanding tax deductions and tax credits that promote Health Savings Accounts, a strategy that has increased health care costs by $60 million and forced 6 million Americans into the ranks of uninsured persons since the president took office.
- Further cuts Veterans' benefits by raising enrollment fees and increasing prescription co-payments for some veterans who use the military's TRICARE healthcare program.
- Drastic cuts to the Social Services Block Program, the Preventative Health Block Grant and the Health Professions program, all of which combined provided $311 million in funding to the states for social programs, preventative health programs and health professionals.
- Termination of the Community Services Block Program, which provided $630 million in grants to states.
- Elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program, which has been an invaluable tool for urban areas in providing low-income housing, blight removal, job creation and other urban revitalization projects.
- $300 million cut to the Low-Income Heating Energy Assistance Program at a time when the Energy Information Administration estimates that home heating costs will increase 78 percent this winter.
- Reducing the size of the National Guard by 17,000 troops at a time when our National Guard comprises nearly 50 percent of the combat forces in Iraq and comprised about 90 percent of the troops on the ground in Mississippi and Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.
- A $15 million cut to Citizen Corps, which was created after 9-11 to educate and engage the public in community preparedness.
- Elimination of the Border Zone Protection funds, proving that his rhetoric about protecting our borders is nothing more than cheap talk.
- Termination of Local Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Grants, a program that provided $400 million per year to state and local law enforcement counterterrorism preparedness projects.
Mississippi Democratic Party * 832 North Congress Street, Jackson, MS 39202
(601) 969-2913 * Fax: (601) 354-1599 * www.msdemocrats.net
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