News Release

Budget: Analysts Available

FRANCES FOX PIVEN
Distinguished professor of political science and sociology at the graduate school at the City University of New York and coauthor of The Breaking of the American Social Compact, Piven said today: “Presumably ‘conservatives’ in power in Washington today are against a government role in redistributing wealth. But in fact, redistribution is exactly what they are about, not from the rich to the middle class and the poor, but from all of us to the very wealthy. This is clear in their tax package which shifts the burden of taxation to ordinary people. And it will also be clear in the spending policies that massive tax breaks to the rich will require. The role of government in humanizing an aggressive and predatory capitalism has already been rolled back. Now it will be rolled back more. There are $200 million in proposed cuts from child-care spending, $120 million in cuts for health care of the uninsured. Even Bush’s flagship commitment to education is shortchanged by his real budget numbers.”

LEXI SHULTZ
Shultz is staff attorney for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, one of the organizations leading the “Green Scissors Campaign” recommending that 74 environmentally harmful programs be cut from the federal budget, which would save taxpayers more than $55 billion over five years.
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MIRIAM PEMBERTON
Research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Pemberton said today: “According to the president’s budget, in five years we will be spending $50 billion more on the military than we are spending this year….”
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ELLEN TAYLOR
Policy analyst with OMB Watch, Taylor said today: “The administration’s emphasis on cutting taxes continues in spite of overwhelming evidence that the majority of the American people are not enthusiastic about tax cuts when they will limit spending priorities…to improve education, job training and the environment, to assist the working poor and the struggling middle class, to lift children out of poverty…”
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STEVEN KULL
Kull is director of the Center on Policy Attitudes and coauthor of Misreading the Public. Shortly after President Bush had set forth the broad outlines of his budget, Kull compared the administration’s initial plans with what polling data showed the public wanted, finding that the administration is “out of step with the public’s priorities.” For example, when asked if the Bush tax bill “will generally be fair to everyone,” only 26 percent said it would be. Using a scientific Internet polling method that allowed respondents to allocate resources, Kull found Americans wanted about a 30 percent increase for the environment budget (currently less than 6 percent of the discretionary federal budget) and almost as much of an increase for education (now under 8 percent) as compared to the Bush proposal. Kull said: “But in dollar terms, by far the biggest discrepancy between the Bush budget and the public’s budget was in the area of defense. In this area the average respondent proposed spending that was 20 percent less than the Bush proposal.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020