Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Quick & Dirty Summary of Dirty Bush's Budget

President Bush has sent his latest budget package to Congress. It is a plan that continues to drastically cut funding for the environment while offering half a billion dollars for new nuclear research and development, another half billion for the massive proposed nuclear waste disposal site in Yucca, Nevada, the doubling of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and the leasing of oil and gas rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Environmental programs facing the funding axe include:

- a 40 percent cut, a $98 million reduction, to the Weatherization Assistance Program, which conserves energy by helping low-wage workers and retirees on fixed incomes to insulate their homes.

- $44 million cut from clean water funding.

- a 60% cut to Land and Water Conservation Fund which offers matching grants to States and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.

- a reduction of the endangered species recovery program by 7.5 percent for a $5.5 million cut.

- elimination of the Landowner Incentive and Private Stewardship Grants programs, which help private landowners conserve at-risk wildlife - a $29 million cut.

- $400 million cut from rail travel (Amtrak)

- $4 million cut from the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences

- proposals are also tabled to sell up to 950 million acres of federal lands to raise $334 million over 10 years. The money is needed to fund schools in rural areas, which the US can't otherwise afford while spending $195 million a day on the war in Iraq.

All in, Bush's budget cuts appropriated funding for natural resources and the environment by nearly $1.5 billion. The sole winner in the environment was the National Park System, which saw a budget increase of $258 million in preparation for the park system's 100th birthday in 2016.

It's time for the Democrats to earn their pay cheques.


E. R. Dunhill said...

It’s not at all encouraging. In the State of the Union, Bush suggested controlling spending in Washington. How about controlling spending in Baghdad?
The subjects of history and government accountability didn’t fare well, either. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the grant-making arm of the National Archives, is budgeted $0.00 in FY 2008.
Apparently, we don’t need to encourage state and local governments to keep records of what they do, nor research figures like Frederick Douglass, Frederick Law Olmstead, or Emma Goldman.

Lynn said...

Gee, I wonder what other issues are so important that they deserve a larger slice of the budget. Kind of reminds me of the budget here in my country, wherein millions go to the military and state universities and public schools get virtually nothing.