Saturday, February 05, 2005

Lets call it another Bush lie...

One of the features of a blog is it is a useful tool in "the struggle of memory against forgetting" as Milan Kundera called it.

All I have to do is link to an earlier version of my blog to see the words...

"My budget substantially reduces or eliminates more than 150 government programs that are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities. The principle here is clear: Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all."

Now, we all knew that was a fact, I predicted that..."ut, because Bush decides, oh, say, not protecting cargo is an 'essential' priority, boom! - the terrorists will have won."

Guess what?

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 - President Bush's budget for 2006 cuts spending for a wide range of public health programs, including several to protect the nation against bioterrorist attacks and to respond to medical emergencies, budget documents show...

Faced with constraints on spending caused by record budget deficits and the demands of the war in Iraq, administration officials said on Friday that they had increased the budget for some health programs but cut many others, including some that address urgent health care needs.

The documents show, for example, that Mr. Bush would cut spending for several programs that deal with epidemics, chronic diseases and obesity. His plan would also cut the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 9 percent, to $6.9 billion, the documents show.

The cuts are part of an attempt to control the federal deficit, while increasing spending on certain priority programs. Administration officials have said that in the budget, to be unveiled on Monday, Mr. Bush will propose that overall domestic spending, aside from entitlements, grows less than the rate of inflation next year.

But the administration is proposing to increase the Pentagon budget by 4.8 percent, to $419.3 billion in the 2006 fiscal year, according to Defense Department budget documents obtained by The New York Times. That sum does not include the costs of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, now running about $5 billion a month. Within a few weeks, the administration is expected to request about $80 billion to cover those costs.

The president's approach to domestic programs is illustrated in the way he balances competing claims at the Centers for Disease Control.

Mr. Bush requests money to expand a national stockpile of vaccines and antibiotics. But the public health emergency fund of the centers, which helps state and local agencies prepare for bioterror attacks, would be cut 12.6 percent, to $1 billion.

In the event of an attack, states could use that money to distribute drugs and vaccines from the stockpile - for example, by conducting a mass immunization campaign against smallpox, anthrax or other infectious agents.

Kim A. Elliott, deputy director of the Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit advocacy group, said, "It's robbing Peter to pay Paul when you build up the national stockpile at the expense of bioterrorism preparedness activities at the state and local level."

We are not better off today, safer today, or freer today than we were before this grey-green slug came to Washington (I admit a soft spot for the anti-fascist vitriol of Ehrenburg, not that I mean anything but the best for that grey-green slug.)

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