A slash-and-burn budget from careless leaders

Luckily, it’s an election year and we can stop politicians from continuing to lie to us.

When President George W. Bush released his budget proposal for fiscal 2007 earlier this week, it was called fiscally responsible by his army of yes men in Washington. Many of them (see: those congressmen up for re-election this year) said that cuts to some programs, like Medicare, are too severe. In what has become a pattern in the past few years in Washington, actions are being mislabeled as the exact opposite of what they actually are, but what can you expect from a one-horse town?

As the deficit soars to record numbers and America builds more and more debt, one must question what is meant when those in power bring up the term fiscal responsibility. Is it fiscally responsible that, if Bush’s proposal goes through, $439 billion of the $2.7 trillion expenditure by the government goes toward the Department of Defense? That is a 6.9 percent increase over the amount given to the Defense Department during fiscal 2006. Compared with the 2001 Defense budget, it is an increase of 45.2 percent. And those numbers do not include the cost of war. To give a point of comparison, America spends six times as much on Defense as the next closest country, Russia. In fact, if the defense budgets were combined for all other countries in the world, it would only be slightly higher than America’s defense budget.

These increases are combined with across the board slashes in the budget of other major departments such as agriculture, education, health and human services, labor, transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and others. Republican lawmakers say this is an attempt to control our spending, to keep government smaller. This at a time when civil liberties are being trampled in the name of terrorism and the constitution has become invalid. Those combined with record spending levels point to the fact that government is not getting at all smaller.

Luckily, it is an election year and the people of America have the ability for their voice to be heard. People can continue to believe what politicians in Washington say or they can hold them accountable for their actions. Stop letting them lie and get away with it. Americans deserve the truth, and continuing to just sit there and let the people in Washington trample over everything our country is about will never solve any of our problems.

Bobby Kahn is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected].