Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.


Bush Budget Priorities


They ain't about Indian health, that much is clear. Given some numbers I've gotten from the Cato Institute, I thought I'd revisit what we've been discussing in the thread about Indian health issues. First, the Indian Health Service appropriations from fiscal year 1999 to 2004:

FY1999 - 2,687
FY2000 - 2,857 (+6.3%)
FY2001 - 3,206 (+12.2%)
FY2002 - 3,366 (+4.9%)
FY2003 - 3,497 (+3.9%)
FY2004 - 3,607 (+3.1%)

FY99-01 are from Clinton budgets. Numbers are in thousands of dollars, with percentage increases in parentheses. I couldn't find actual figures from '99, but found what the 2000 increase was and worked backwards. The '04 figure is the proposed budget--I haven't looked at the appropriations bill to see what was enacted. I culled this from multiple docs at IHS, so if you want the raw info lemme know and I'll find all the necessary links.

I was reading over at Kos that Cato (you know, the real conservative/libertarian people) has provided some interesting revelations about Bush's spending habits:

Government agencies that Republicans were calling to be abolished less than 10 years ago, such as education and labor, have enjoyed jaw-dropping spending increases under Bush of 70 percent and 65 percent respectively.
...
Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent. This is contrasted by Bush's three-year total spending increase of 15.6 percent and a 20.8 percent explosion in non-defense discretionary spending.

I don't have hard data on what Clinton's overall spending pattern was FY1999-2001, but it appears he continued to rein in spending overall and yet increased IHS monies. I'm not interested in that. I'm more concerned about the present and I see Bush is allowing spending to run wild, but has increased IHS money only 12.5% in three years. And according to the CDC we're only providing 59% of appropriate funds for health services. Conclusion: Bush would rather increase spending 17% on an unnecessary missile defense system (to the tune of $8.9B), than invest money in necessary health services for Native Americans.

So Bush is neither compassionate, nor conservative. Discuss.

ntodd

[Update: corrected some dreadful typos.] 
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