Tuesday, March 25
Budgetary Shock and Awe
New York Times Editorial, March 25, 2003
The American public transfixed by the unfolding invasion of Iraq may someday look up and discover too late what the Republican Congress did while the world's attention was elsewhere. Led by the Bush administration, the House and Senate are about to march under the public's radar screen and lead the country into a decade of budgetary disaster.
The country is facing plenty of financial problems: the economy, the cost of the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. Stunningly, Congress is preparing to make things far, far worse with more than $500 billion in tax cuts for the upper 1 percent of taxpayers. To finance these spoils for the wealthiest Americans, House leaders — who have taken the lead in hammering a budget together — plan deep cuts of $475 billion in vital programs for the bottom 99 percent. These direct hits will range from Medicaid to child care, education to food stamps, environmental protection to emergency doles for the poor.