Three Times as Deep

Cuts proposed in President Bush’s budget released Feb. 7 are actually three times as bad as they may at first appear. President Bush’s 2006 budget calls for $214 billion in domestic spending reductions over five years, but documents released so far omit all information regarding how these cuts will affect particular programs after the $18 billion that will be cut in 2006 (the first time since 1989 such info has not been included). Based on unpublished backup budget documents provided by the Office of Management and Budget to the Budget Committees of Congress, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has information on how the remaining $196 billion in cuts will affect programs in 2007–2010.

For instance:

The Department of Veterans Affairs loses 3 percent of funding in 2006, but veterans’ programs would be cut by 16 percent by 2010. These include programs that provide health care to veterans.

The Departments of Education and Labor had funding cut by 1 percent and 4 percent in 2006, but education and workforce development programs would be cut by 15 percent by 2010. These include employment and training programs, community college funding, and federal funding for K-12 education.

The Environmental Protection Agency is hard hit in 2006, losing 6 percent of its budget, but by 2010, natural resource and environmental programs would be cut by 23 percent, or nearly one-fourth. The five-year loss would cost the EPA more than $27 billion.

The Department of Health has its budget reduced by 1 percent in 2006, but health programs are set to be slashed by 14 percent by 2010. These include medical research, community health centers, and HIV/AIDS treatment funds.

Overall, domestic discretionary programs outside of homeland security are cut by 5 percent in 2006. By 2010, these cuts would reach 16 percent.

For more, check out CBPP’s breakdown.