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.
[Update: corrected some dreadful typos.]