Budget CutsFebruary 11, 2008
President George W. Bush presented his final budget proposal to Congress last Monday. In a time when the United States is facing an economic down-turn and poverty is on the rise, the proposed FY2009 budget proposal cuts many vital social programs while the proposed tax cuts assist the wealthiest 2% of Americans. The FY2009 budget proposal includes measures to make permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which the administration estimates will cost $2.1 trillion over the next ten years. However, the Congressional Budget Office places the estimate for added interest on the national debt and the extending of the Alternative Minimum Tax beyond 2009 at $4.3 trillion. In addition, the proposed budget seeks to increase national security spending by 8.2 percent, defense spending by 7.5 percent, and international affairs spending by 14.9 percent, according to an article by the Source on Women’s Issues in Congress. To account for these tax cuts and spending increases, the Bush administration proposes to terminate or reduce funding to 151 federal programs, including educational programs.
The Bush administration’s plan freezes discretionary education funding and eliminates critical programs, including federal support for career and technical education programs, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program (which last year provided $757 million in need-based grant aid to eligible undergraduate students), and funding for the Women’s Educational Equality Act. In addition, the budget calls for the reduction of appropriations for programs for minority-serving institutions that received funds in last fall’s budget reconciliation bill, according to an article from Inside Higher Ed. These actions reduce efforts to eliminate obstacles to higher education and to protect the rights of women and girls in schools.
AAUW supports legislation in many of the areas where there are proposed cuts.
This post is by Sarah Sprinkle, AAUW Fellow.