Shocking facts about plans to cut education

Published: Friday, April 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 11:15 p.m.
I was shocked to see reports of President Bush's recent budget cuts, specifically on education. But then, I decided to do some investigation into the issue.
According to his 2006 budget proposal, President Bush wants to reduce educational spending by 1 percent, or $600 million. In 2005, Bush allotted $56.6 billion for education, or 6.9 percent of his discretionary budget of $823 billion.
Now he says he will only spend $56 billion of his $840 billion discretionary budget, or 6.7 percent. He is reducing educational spending compared to the total budget by .2 percent.
Considering the 2005 estimates and proposals for 2006, President Bush has appropriated 6.8 percent of his discretionary budget during his presidency toward education.
The average of former President Clinton's education appropriations is exactly 5 percent of his discretionary spending. President Bush has made a far greater financial commitment to education than Clinton.
In addition, President Bush's 2006 budget will increase our federal deficit by $331 billion. President Bush inherited a deficit of just over $6 trillion, so his budget proposal will send the deficit to a record $8 trillion-plus next year. This is an increase of 34 percent during his presidency.
On the other hand, former President Clinton inherited a national debt of $4.4 trillion and raised it to the aforementioned $6 trillion - an increase of 36 percent over his eight years. And don't forget former President Clinton balanced the budget at the end of his term.
The mainstream media needs to do a better job of presenting the facts to us. We are overwhelmed by the size of the numbers - $600 million and $6 trillion - but we must put these numbers into the correct context.
Chris Chmielenski, Gainesville

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