Mar 31, 2003
The U.S. Senate pretended to stand up to President Bush over his tax cuts for the rich. The senators forgot to mention that when they passed the budget, they left in 350 million in tax cuts – almost all still going to the wealthy. And to pay for these cuts, as well as Bush's other giveaways to the wealthy, the Senate is going along with almost all of the huge cuts in social spending that Bush is proposing.
The biggest of these cuts take aim at the families of the poor and the working poor and children. The Earned Income Tax Credit, which gives a small bit of tax relief for the working poor, will be cut by 14 billion dollars over nine years. The working poor will pay more income taxes, even as the wealthy have their federal taxes slashed. Medicaid, the program that provides a minimum of health care for the poor – including many workers – will be cut by an enormous 92 billion dollars over nine years. Food stamps will be cut by 13 billion dollars. The temporary welfare program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families will be cut by 8 billion dollars. And SSI, Supplemental Social Security, which provides a minimum income for those permanently disabled, will be cut by 19 billion dollars.
Almost all of these programs will hit the most vulnerable sectors, especially children, the hardest. Some budget cuts are aimed specifically at programs for poor children. Child nutrition will be cut by six billion dollars. A program that provides health insurance for those poor children not covered by Medicaid will be cut by two billion dollars. And child care grants to states, which provide a few very poor working mothers with some child care aid, will be cut by one billion dollars.
This budget is truly a war budget, a war of the rich against the poor, carried out by the government.