Thursday, October 27, 2005

How to Balance a Budget

Not content with underfunding the federal engineer corps, the scramble that Bush is having to make to cut spending from his budget (having increased discretionary spending more than any two-term President since Johnson) is taking on another unseemly aspect.

House Republicans voted to cut student loan subsidies, child support enforcement and aid to firms hurt by unfair trade practices as various committees scrambled to piece together $50 billion in budget cuts.
I find it somewhat surprising that these are considered the most obvious programmes to cut - Medicaid, food stamps and farm subsidies (!) are supposedly more politically insensitive. Even so, if I was prioritising between trying to help students fund their way through college, and giving tax cuts to the rich, I think I know which one I would choose. I also think I know which one is most healthy for the life of a country in general.

The particularly interesting aspect of the cuts I quote is the reducing of funding for child support enforcement. Maybe this will put paid to efforts to portray Bush as nothing other than a tool of the religious right. Surely it's not a nice, friendly, family-oriented policy to reduce the effectiveness of parents paying for a child's upbringing?