Sunday, 14 August 2022

Thompson criticizes president's budget proposal

WASHINGTON – North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson criticized President George W. Bush's budget proposal Tuesday, saying it cut critical health care programs while boosting war spending through the use of foreign-owned debt.


He called the president's budget “bad news for millions of American.”


In his budget message, President Bush said his $3.1 trillion 2009 budget “I have set clear priorities that will help us meet our Nation's most pressing needs while addressing the long-term challenges ahead.”


Bush said his budget includes both “pro-growth policies and spending discipline.”


Thompson disagreed.


“While American families are struggling with worsening economic conditions, the president’s budget steals billions from critical health care programs in order to finance his war in Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthy,” said Thompson.


Even after cutting tens of billions from important domestic programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, the budget still carries a $410 billion deficit, one of the highest in our nation’s history, Thompson said.


“Once again, the president wants to pay for his misguided foreign and fiscal policies with more foreign-owned debt,” he said. “And unfortunately, our grandchildren will have to pay the tab for the president’s unprecedented fiscal irresponsibility.”


Thompson said California already dealing with serious economic problems of its own takes an especially hard hit in the president’s budget.


Bush's budget cuts $17 million from state firefighter grants and $20 million from law enforcement grants, said Thompson.


In addition, another $15 million will be cut from teacher training programs, $127 million will be cut from vocational programs, $42 million will be cut from after-school programs, $14 million will be cut from the state’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, $19 million will be cut from housing assistance and $54 million would be cut from federal highways in the state.


“I’m also extremely worried about how the cuts to Medicare will impact rural areas like those in our district, which typically have a higher rate of Medicare recipients,” said Thompson. “In addition, the president makes cuts to other rural health programs and zeroes out some programs completely. Our rural areas are already having a difficult time retaining doctors and affording expensive medical equipment. Now is not the time to make it even more difficult to access health care in our rural areas.”


Thompson said now is the time to do everything possible possible to help middle- and low-income families grapple with the economic downturn, and that includes maintaining investments in Medicare and Medicaid, which he said helps millions of our most vulnerable citizens.


“We should also be spending our tax dollars on American infrastructure projects that infuse money and jobs into our communities,” Thompson added.


Thompson was also thinking of presidential elections when he issued the statement on Super Tuesday.


“Congress is committed to investing in real American priorities, like job-growth, education and health care,” he said. We need a president who shares that commitment, as well as a commitment to fiscal responsibility. This president brought us the five largest deficits in American history. It’s time for a change.”


Thompson has endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president, who was declared the winner in Super Tuesday primaries in California and seven other states.


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