Rep. Kind: President Bush's Budget Hurts Wisconsin
Washington, D.C. –U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) made the following statement on President Bush’s FY 2009 budget proposal:
“As expected, President Bush’s 2009 budget simply continues seven years of misguided fiscal policies: record deficit spending, tax cuts targeted at the wrong people, and spending cuts in the wrong programs. In his last year in office, the President is attempting to mask our real fiscal challenges by failing to take into account the full costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and permanently fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax. Actual numbers show this budget will balloon our national debt by more than $400 billion – leaving a legacy of debt for our kids and grandkids.
“The President’s budget would decimate Medicare – cutting it by $556 billion over ten years. While I agree that we must address waste and duplicative spending, as well as the long-term challenges we face with entitlement programs, blindly cutting Medicare would devastate our seniors.
“The President’s budget also does nothing to get our economy back on track, choosing instead to exacerbate our current situation by cutting the job-creating programs we need and making permanent the misdirected tax cuts that got us here in the first place.
“This budget hurts Wisconsin, and it hurts America. Congressional Democrats remain committed to steering this country in a new direction and will put forward a budget that will strengthen our economy, help families make ends meet, and restore fiscal responsibility.”
SNAPSHOT: President Bush’s Budget Hurts Wisconsin:
- As Wisconsin faces its hardest winter in years, the President’s budget would cut $11.2 million from the state’s energy assistance fund (LIHEAP) that helps keep the heat on for low-income families.
- While we seek to prepare our kids to compete with students from around the world, President Bush’s budget cuts more than $2 million from Wisconsin’s grant program to attract highly qualified teachers to our schools.
- Even as we see dismal job growth, the President’s budget cuts programs that make our workforce more flexible to the market and create jobs. His budget cuts career and vocational training for Wisconsin by nearly $22 million and cuts $2.6 million for Wisconsin’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), which helps create good manufacturing jobs. It is estimated that this cut to WMEP would result in a subsequent loss of more than $54 million in private investment and 1,300 jobs.
- At the same time as this economic downturn puts states in a difficult financial position, President Bush’s budget cuts more than $13 million in assistance to Wisconsin firefighters, eliminates the COPS program that puts more officers on the streets, cuts more than $12 million in federal highway funding for Wisconsin, and cuts more than $4 million to ensure safe drinking water for Wisconsin residents.