News Release

Budget Priorities

LINDA GORDON
Professor of history at the University of Wisconsin/Madison, Gordon said: “The budget surplus provides Americans with an opportunity for a conversation about our priorities. Most Americans want better schools, better policing, cleaner air and water, an end to global warming, and above all, medical insurance for everyone. Taxes offer a fair and efficient way of providing these and many other services to the public. Buying these things privately is either impossible or more expensive for everyone. The proposed tax cuts, which benefit mainly those who live on investments and inflated CEO-type salaries, will further the deepening inequality which in turn further degrades everyone’s standard of living.”

JANE MIDGLEY
Coordinator of the Women’s Budget Project, Midgley said: “Any federal budget surplus should be invested in the social infrastructure of the country and not thrown into tax breaks for the rich. Over 50 percent of discretionary spending goes to the military while programs like housing, welfare, and community development are shrinking as a percentage of the budget. This has a large impact on the increasing numbers of women who are single heads of households and who rely on government assistance to provide a decent standard of living for their families.”
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DERRICK LEON DAVIS
Outreach director for the Prince George’s County public schools Head Start program, Davis said: “If the proposed tax cuts are passed in Congress, approximately 290 of our children will lose their services in FY 2000… At this time of billion-dollar budget surpluses, we have a great opportunity to bring Head Start’s Comprehensive Early Childhood and Family Development Services to more children and families, in Maryland and across the country.”
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PATRICK LESTER
Senior program associate with the Coalition on Human Needs, Lester said: “The tax cuts assume continued budget surpluses which are themselves based on drastic cuts in domestic programs. For example: Veterans Administration medical care cuts would result in nearly one out of two veterans losing care; federal spending for education in discretionary programs would be cut almost $30 billion in real terms in the next 10 years… Average Americans want the government to invest intelligently to meet the needs of families, neighborhoods, the environment and communities rather than give the middle-class a tiny cut in taxes while handing over hundreds of billions of dollars to the wealthy.”
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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