President Bush presented his 2008 budget recently, and the numbers don’t lie- to pay for his massive tax cuts for the wealthy and his ongoing war on whomever he considers a terrorist this week, Bush proposed cuts to programs that actually help the poor, needy, disabled and America’s veterans. How’s that for compassionate conservatism?

In the President’s own message (accompanying the official budget), Bush says, “This Budget reflects our highest priorities while reducing the deficit and achieving a balanced budget by 2012. I am confident that this approach will help make our country more secure and more prosperous.”

We can only surmise then that for Bush, helping the richest .2% get even richer on the backs of the middle class and the poor is our highest priority. And his deficit reduction plan is ludicrous to expect so long as he keeps funding wars off the books and through ’emergency spending.’ The only people who will gecome “more secure and prosperous” are the corporate oligarchs to whom he owes his political legacy.

Bush wants to permanently extend the repeal of the Estate Tax he pushed through in 2003, an act that would reduce the federal kitty by over $440 billion in the next decade. (Of course, in politics nothing is ‘permanent’ but a decade of tax free hand-me-downs is the next best thing.) Longer term projections show that a permanent repeal would cost the Treasury up to $1 trillion by 2021.

So what cuts does Bush propose to offset these tax losses- money not being paid by the richest of the rich? Who are the winners and who are the losers in the Bush Budget? A little compare and contrast helps illustrate the picture for us( these figures are projected over the next decade):

The Walton family (owners of the world’s largest retailer) would receive an estate tax break of $32.7 billion.
The Bush budget cuts Medicaid by $28 billion over the same 10 year span.

Winner: Walton Family
Loser: Every American family who has medical co-pays or buys prescriptions. (And this will be on top of the 10-year, $28.3 billion cuts to Medicaid passed by the Republican Congress last year.)

The heirs to the Mars Candy Bar fortune would receive a tax break of about $11.7 billion.
The Bush budget cuts over $3 billion from the VA budget over the next five years.

Winner: Mars candy heirs
Loser: Every wounded veteran alive today.
The Cox family, heirs to the Cox Cable fortune will gain $9.7 billion by the permanent repeal of the estate tax.

The Bush budget cuts $1.5 billion from education. I guess the rhetoric about No Child Left Behind is just that- rhetoric.

Winner: Cox family
Loser: Kids and local school districts who are buried under an avalanche of federal mandates that continue to be underfunded.

The Nordstrom family rakes in over $825 million with the tax break.
The Bush budget wants to eliminate one of the country’s most successful anti-poverty programs, the Community Services Block Grant program. The ‘savings’ amounts to $630 million. The fact that this program provides dervices and aid to over 15 million of the lowest income people in the country is apparently not part of the compassionate conservatism practiced by Bush.

Winner: Nordstrom family
Loser: 15 million of the poorest Americans

The Ernest Gallo family (makers of cheaep wine) can expect to pass down an extra $468 million dollars from tax breaks.
The Bush budget wants to cut $420 million from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, that quaint little federal safety net that keeps 5.4 million senior citizens and low-income families from freezing in the winter time.

Winner: Nordstrom family
Loser: 5.4 million needy seniors and families.

Former Exxon Mobile CEO Lee Raymond and his family will keep a larger portion of that ludicrous retirement package, saving $164 million due to the permanent repeal of the estate tax.
The Bush budget wants to eliminate the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. This is a program that provides food for poor seniors, and low-income children and mothers. The price tag is…$164 million.

Winner: Raymond family.
Loser: The poor, the hungry, the huddled masses.

And these are just some examples to think about. Bush wants to give as much money back to the wealthiest of all Americans and balance those loses on the rest of us, including all those military men and women he keeps saying he supports. That is absolutely disgusting.
It is up to Congress to put a stop to this massive wealth transfer scheme. It’s been going on too long under Bush already. We know what Bush’s priorities are, and they have nothing to do with the welfare of American citizens. Not even the wake-up call in November can open his eyes. And forget about opening his heart. Bush hasn’t got one.