Sherman: Bush Budget Punishes Seniors, Students
Domestic Programs Axed but Record Red Ink Still Flows
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Brad Sherman on Monday criticized President Bush's proposed $2.7 trillion budget that the congressman said would shortchange ordinary Americans next year while giving more tax breaks to the rich.
The budget deficit, meanwhile, was projected to soar to an all-time high of $423 billion by the end of this year, the administration projected.
"By squandering budget surpluses he inherited, Bush has turned lemonade into a lemon," Sherman said. "He took a budget that was $236 billion in surplus the year before he took office and plunged it deep into a sea of red ink."
The President's budget plan calls for $50 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007. The total 2007 funding for these conflicts is certain to be much higher. In 2005, the U.S. spent more than $105 billion; for fiscal 2006, the Bush administration is expected to ask for $70 billion, on top of $50 billion already provided by Congress in December for these two conflicts.
"Clearly, the president is understating the budget deficit in his 2007 budget by between $50 billion and $70 billion by asking us to believe that Iraq and Afghanistan will cost less than half in 2007 what they were in 2006 and 2005," Sherman said.
Instead of restoring common-sense fiscal policies to stanch the deficit, the Bush budget blueprint for 2007 would sweeten tax breaks that would cost the Treasury an estimated $1.7 trillion over the next decade.
Unless Congress blocks parts of the Bush budget, programs that would fall under the budget knife include education, local law enforcement, housing, transportation, pension security, and health care for senior citizens, veterans, the disabled and the poor.
Altogether, Bush wants to scrap or make deep cuts in 141 programs. "Bush wants most Americans to tighten their belts while he would let wealthy taxpayers and big corporations gorge on more tax breaks," Sherman said.