A new report by the Democratic Policy Committee shows that President George W. Bush's recent budget engages in gimmickry to distract from the fact that he is once again cutting funding for education, housing, health care, economic development and other programs critical to the African American community.
In 2005, 7.2 million African Americans, or 19.6 percent, were without health insurance. Despite these numbers, Bush proposes a nearly $300 billion cut in Medicare and Medicaid and would undermine the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which insures millions of low-income children. The president also under-funds his own No Child Left Behind initiative and shortchanges after school programs, such as Head Start and Even Start, which provide family literacy programs. More than 19 percent of families participating in Even Start are African American.
In addition, the president's budget cuts funding for Community Development Block Grants, which help revitalize urban areas, as well as small business loans, completely eliminating the microloan program, which is essential to many African American businesses.
"President Bush and Republicans keep touting their desire to reach out to African Americans," Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Amaya Smith said. "Yet, whenever they get the chance they are pulling the rug out from under African American families. The president's misguided and misplaced budget priorities are no different and just offer more of the same.
"This past election, African Americans overwhelmingly voted for new policies and new ideas by voting for a Democratic Congress. Republicans should join Democrats in rejecting these cuts that harm not just African Americans but all hard working American families."
For the full report on President Bush's new budget, visit www.democrats.senate.gov.