Thursday, March 10, 2005

Most US Citizens Disagree With Bush Budget Priorities

I'm relieved to know that most Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, strenuously object to President Bush's 2006 budget priorities, as described in this article from Common Dreams. It's a matter of common decency, not politics, when evaluating George Bush's cruel, woefully misplaced priorities.
Here are excerpts from that article...."Bush's Spending Priorities Not in Line with Americans' - Poll" by Abid Aslam

The American people would like to significantly change next year's federal budget, reversing key proposals by the administration of President George W. Bush, according to a new poll.

Given the chance to look at and make changes to the major areas of Bush's proposed discretionary budget for fiscal year 2006, which begins on Oct. 1, 2005, around two-thirds redirected money to reduce the budget deficit, said the poll released Monday by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).

''The American public as a whole takes a fairly coherent position. They favor redirecting a portion of defense spending to deficit reduction and social spending and look for savings by cutting spending on large-scale Cold War style capabilities,'' said PIPA director Steven Kull.

Republican and Democratic poll participants alike would take the budget axe to spending on defense and on Iraq and Afghanistan, plowing more funds into education, job training, veterans, and reducing U.S. reliance on oil, the poll found.

The changes they would make would amount to a major redirecting of U.S. foreign and defense policy and reverse key social spending cuts proposed in the Bush administration's budget.

Of nearly 1,200 U.S. adults surveyed, 61 percent reallocated money to reducing the budget deficit. On average, they earmarked an additional $36 billion to cut the overhang. Democrats averaged $39.4 billion and Republicans $29.6 billion.

Defense spending received the deepest cut--an average of 31 percent or the equivalent of around $134 billion--with 65 percent of survey participants doing the cutting. The second largest area to be cut was the supplemental spending for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, with two out of three respondents opting to cut the funding, by an average of $29.6 billion or 35 percent....

The largest increases were for social spending. Education was increased $26.8 billion or 39 percent and respondents proposed boosting job training and employment by $19 billion--or 263 percent....

In percentage terms, by far the largest increase was for conserving and developing renewable energy--a boost of 1090 percent or $24 billion, supported by 70 percent of respondents.
The environment and natural resources received an increase of 32 percent or $9 billion, with 42 percent of respondents favoring increases, PIPA said.

As respondents had proposed large defense cuts, they were asked what areas they would want to axe. Majorities favored trimming the capability for large-scale nuclear wars, the number of nuclear weapons, and spending on developing new types of nuclear weapons.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents also proposed reducing U.S. capabilities for large-scale naval and land wars. Majorities also favored cutting spending on new types of naval destroyers, bombers, and submarines.

However, respondents preserved spending for troops, including for salaries (with 82 percent in support), the overall number of military personnel (61 percent supporting), and development of new equipment for infantry and Marines (64 percent supporting)....

In contrast to the large defense cuts, respondents made substantial increases to forms of U.S. ''soft power.'' The United Nations and U.N. peacekeeping received one of the largest percentage increases, going up an average of 207 percent or $4.8 billion.... "

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