HIGHTOWER: Leaving Children Behind
George W. Bush loves children, especially poor children. We know this because he tells us so in speech after speech, and he shows us so by posing compassionately with little urchins in photo-op after photo-op. "I refuse to leave any child behind in America," he has said again and again.
But it's a lie. Don't read his lips...read his budget. At a time when 12 million US children live in poverty, 11 million have no have no health-care coverage, four million go hungry, 40 percent are denied access to Head Start, and 88 percent do not have access to the child-care help they need-Bush's budget does nothing to move these kids ahead. Indeed, it even whacks our current inadequate public investment in poor children, totally eliminating some programs that have proven records of success, and preventing such other proven successes as Head Start from reaching the millions of three-and-four year olds who are now left behind.
Yet, instead of funding the growing needs of America's children of poverty, Bush blissfully mouths the line that we have a "budget surplus" in America. He proposes to dole out this "surplus" to his fat cat pals. Indeed, a watchdog group called the Institute for America's Future has examined George W's budget in detail and found that, over the next decade, he intends to give $555 billion right off the top of the federal budget to the wealthiest one percent of Americans. These are multimillionaires, each hauling off more than a million bucks a year in personal income. In its groundbreaking report, the Institute shows that the half-trillion dollar tax windfall that Bush wants to hand to them is the money missing from his budget to provide health coverage, child care, Head Start, and other real needs for the very children he otherwise will leave behind.
This is Jim Hightower saying...There is no "budget surplus" to give away when we have a "children's deficit."