Bush Federal Budget Cuts Bad for Texas

RECEIVED Fri., March 4, 2005

To the editor,
    I wonder if the voters who put GWB in office are at all concerned about his budget proposals. I wonder if any actually care. Are they paying attention? Here are some facts which concern me.
    Bush plans devastating cuts to America's top priorities, from homeland security to health care to education to benefits for veterans and much more. And this budget is a huge disaster for Texas. The Bush 2006 budget cuts $420 million in state and local funding for homeland security, including a $55.7 million cut for Texas. These cuts will take police and firefighters off your streets. The Bush budget cuts the COPS program, which has put 6,124 officers on Texas streets, by 96%. The Bush budget cuts $45 billion from Medicaid, enough to provide health care to 1.8 million children. Texas' share of these cuts is $2.7 billion. Bush's budget cuts the very same community and rural health care programs he touted during the campaign, even though more than 626,000 Texas residents have lost their health care coverage since Bush took office, due to his failures. Bush underfunds his own No Child Left Behind Act by $13.1 billion in his budget. In Texas, that means a shortfall of $1.1 billion, leaving behind 272,271 Texas children. Bush promised to fund Pell Grants in his State of the Union address, but his budget is $6.6 billion short. That's $516.7 million less than what's needed in Texas, a real burden for the 355,653 students in Texas who receive the grants. The Bush budget would require many veterans to pay a new $250 annual "user fee" to use the Veterans Administration health care system, and would double the prescription drug co-payment for the 1,754,809 Texas veterans. Bush cuts Texas clean water programs by $17.7 million. Bush's 2006 budget also cuts the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program – which helps low-income families afford heating fuel in the winter – by $234.4 million, including a $5.2 million cut for Texas residents. And Bush's irresponsible budget is a record $427 billion in the red, increasing each Texas family's share of the federal debt by $36,536.
    Do you care about any of this?
Jacquie Roberts
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