Bush Budget Guts Domestic Programs

Today’s Washington Post is reporting that President Bush is set to release a $2.5 trillion budget proposal that, surprise-surprise, increases spending for the military while gutting several domestic programs. This should come as no surprise to anyone since the administration leaked as much during the campaign, of course the devil is in the details…

On the domestic side, according to documents, the budget would consolidate 18 community development block grant programs into one Commerce Department program for a savings of $1.8 billion. It would slice law enforcement grants to states from $2.8 billion to $1.5 billion. And it would cut 48 education programs totaling $4.3 billion, including $2.2 billion for high school programs, mostly state grants for vocational education.

The budget would cut $440 million in Safe and Drug-Free School grants, $500 million in education technology state grants, $225 million for the Even Start literacy program, $280 million for Upward Bound programs for inner-city youths and a $150 million talent research program, according to the documents.

The budget includes no subsidy for Amtrak and would eliminate $20 million for the next generation of high-speed rail and $250 million for railroad rehabilitation. Several Energy Department programs would be eliminated, as would $100 million in grants for land and water conservation. The budget proposal would cut $94 million in grants for the Healthy Communities Access Program and phase out rural health grants, the documents said. Bush touted his commitment to such programs during his reelection campaign. The president would terminate the Community Food and Nutrition Program, and cut a migrant and seasonal farm worker training program. He would renew his effort to cut a $143 million program for the removal of severely distressed housing.

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