News Release

Budget Cuts: Costs and Consequence

AVIS JONES-DEWEEVER
Study director on poverty and income security at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Jones-DeWeever said today: “Following Hurricane Katrina, President Bush stood in New Orleans and made the strong statement that ‘we have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action.’ The budget that passed the House of Representatives last night, and which Bush is expected to sign shortly, made a mockery of that statement.

“This budget represents an attack on poor families. It will greatly increase their out-of-pocket health care expenses; it will mean some 255,000 fewer children will receive the child care assistance their families desperately need; it will result in some $8.4 billion lost in vital child support due to cuts in child support enforcement; it will mean delays in SSI payments to poor, disabled citizens and cuts to foster families doing the right thing by taking in children that have nowhere else to go. This bill is shameful, and particularly so since the money saved here will not go to reduce the deficit as some have implied, but instead will be used to offset much greater losses in revenues that we will experience as a result of more tax cuts for individuals with six figure incomes and up. For a nation that strongly clings to the notion of morality, where are the ethics in that?”
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KAREN DOLAN
Dolan is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She wrote the article “Budget of Shame” and the report “Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of War in Iraq.” Dolan said today: “Yesterday House Republicans squeaked by a vote on the Fiscal Year 2006 Budget that cut spending to programs needed by low-income and poor Americans. The number of Americans living in poverty has steadily risen under George Bush’s Republican watch. This action, sought by the president under the guise of reducing the federal deficit, hurts millions of women, children, students, low-income, disabled and senior Americans. Medicaid will become more expensive and more restrictive; the hoops through which struggling parents must jump in order to qualify for income assistance from our welfare program have now increased. Students, who have seen skyrocketing tuition bills since Bush took office, need to brace themselves for a new astronomy lesson. The list of damage goes on.

“In his State of the Union Address Tuesday night, Bush announced that he will, once again, urge even more cuts to non-security discretionary spending. Bush said his fiscal 2007 budget will seek to be cutting or eliminating more than 140 programs for a one-year savings of $14 billion. This barely dents the deficit. Any negligible positive effect on the deficit will be more than erased by his other goal: make his string of tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. The tax bill currently awaiting final passage will add $70 billion to the pockets of the wealthy and to the deficit.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167