Analyses of the Bush budget are starting to appear all over cyberspace, and it is sobering. If you want to get a bead on some of the President’s priorities, consider the following:
Job training: Federal vocational and adult education cut 35% (from 2.1 billion to 1.4 billion); Assistance to workers displaced by NAFTA cut to zero — the unions are not happy . . .
Education: 38 of 65 government programs (including programs dealing with alcohol abuse, the arts, dropout prevention, school counselors, smaller learning communities, school reform, and school leadership) eliminated, including Even Start literacy program . . .
Veterans: Fails to solve problems with health care benefits — in fact, it makes things worse (e.g., doubles the prescription co-pay for veterans). The VFW is unhappy . . .
Housing: Funding for housing voucher program cut by $1.6 billion
Crime and "First Responders": Cut from $481.9 million to $97 million
Rural Development: The budget would cut $239 million from rural business and industry loans, $269 from a rural broadband loan program, and $199 million from rural water and wastewater grants.
What gets priority? Programs to encourage teens to abstain from sex (doubled to $270 million), to promote marriage ($240 million, plus another $120 million to research further programs on marriage promotion) and to promote responsible fatherhood. ($50 million)
Now, all this is good news to Bush’s conservative base. The problem is that the conservative base is going to vote for Bush anyhow. How will Bush’s priorities play to the crucial swing/independent vote?