Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also
Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., today said, "This administration - which likes to think of itself and project itself as the most `Christian' in history - should look more carefully at its authoritative book, the Holy Bible. Matthew 6:21 says `For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.' With his `faith-based' 2007 federal budget President Bush has clearly revealed where his heart is.
"This self-proclaimed `compassionate conservative' has proposed a record $2.77 trillion budget which increases money for war and defense, makes tax cuts for the wealthy permanent (takes $1.8 trillion out of the budget over 10 years), and continues undermining programs which take care of 'the least of these,' like Medicare and Medicaid. The 'No Child Left Behind President' proposes cutting education funds 28%, from $88.6 to $63.4 billion, including eliminating 42 programs. Bush's budget proposes to limit Food Stamp eligibility by cutting funds by $706 billion over five years. The President's budget also proposes a reduction in payments to hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and other institutions of about $2.5 billion in 2007 and $35.9 billion through 2011. On the energy front, the budget would cut spending on energy efficiency, hazardous waste cleanup and grants to subsidize heating costs for low-income households (LIHEAP funds) - even as spending on nuclear weapons programs is increased by 2%.
"Even with all of those cuts, this administration's record setting budget deficits continue ($423 billion for 2007, after inheriting a $236 billion surplus). The nation's debt is spiraling toward $8.5 trillion, including $3 trillion since 2002 - causing the debt ceiling to be raised four times since - after originally saying their economic policies wouldn't require lifting it until 2008. This doesn't include $120 billion ($50 billion for 2007, plus an anticipated $70 billion supplemental for 2006) to pay for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, or an additional $18 billion for hurricane relief.
"Bush proposes new taxes - he prefers to call them user fees - totaling $3.5 billion, including $1.6 billion in increased aviation security fees and $800 million from veteran health care user fees. Soldiers who risk their lives for the country and now need health care will have to pay increased enrollment fees and deductibles if they are military retirees under the age of 65 and use the Pentagon's Tricare system.
"So we now know President Bush's moral values, budget priorities and political philosophy - rely on the states, faith-based institutions and voluntary efforts to meet the peoples' needs, undercut federal programs for low-and-middle-income families, cut taxes on the rich and increase funds for the military-industrial-complex," Jackson concluded.