Bush’s budget plans

Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, spoke for millions when he called George W. Bush’s money plan for fiscal year 2005 a “budget of mass destruction.” It would lock in $2.2 trillion in tax cuts for millionaires, giving each an average annual break of $107,000, while slashing funding for Medicaid and grants for local government.

McEntee told the recent “Take Back America” conference that Bush wants to spend hundreds of billions to “build a city on Mars, but he hasn’t got a dime for the city of Philadelphia.”

The budget includes $444 billion for defense with boondoggles for Lockheed Martin and other military corporations, not counting the $200 billion price tag for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Bush budget is stalled in the Senate with four Republicans joining solid Democratic opposition. Meanwhile, a secret White House memo has surfaced revealing that Bush plans huge budget cuts in domestic programs if he steals a second term. The memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget, first obtained by the Washington Post, reveals that starting in 2006, the administration would slash school funding by $1.5 billion, Veterans Affairs by $910 million, National Institutes of Health by $600 million, Women, Infant and Children nutrition programs by $122 million, and Head Start by $177 million. It would cut the Office of Domestic Preparedness’ First Responder Program by 18 percent.

Bush and Cheney are asking people to vote for them based on the very programs they plan to gut if they manage to trick their way back into the White House. What brazen liars and cheats they are. No wonder the “Take Back America” crowd cheered when McEntee said Bush should be defeated Nov. 2 and then sent as the first unelected mayor of Mars City.

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Remember Chaney, Goodman & Schwerner

James Chaney. Andrew Goodman. Michael Schwerner. They will be remembered forever for giving their lives in the struggle for voting rights and racial equality. The three young men – Chaney, African American, and Schwerner and Goodman, both white and of Jewish background – were lynched by Klansmen just outside Philadelphia, Miss., the night of June 21, 1964.

They were civil rights volunteers in a hard-fought struggle to register African Americans to vote across Mississippi. That battle led to passage a year later of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Ben Chaney is commemorating the 40th anniversary of his brother’s death by organizing a two-week caravan through the South to register people to vote in the Nov. 2, 2004, election. The busload of 40 volunteers will make stops in Atlanta and Greensboro, N.C., and will participate in a memorial service in Mississippi to honor the three martyrs. The caravan will wind up in Washington June 25.

Some remember that Ronald Reagan launched his 1980 presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., proclaiming, “I believe in states’ rights.” He made no mention of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, and his speech was seen as an open appeal for support from the racist elements who violently opposed voting rights for African Americans. The murderers may even have been present in Reagan’s lily-white crowd that day. Later, seven members of the Klan were convicted of “violating the civil rights” of the three, and served prison terms of six years or less.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Attorney General John Ashcroft are fanatical adherents to that same states’ rights doctrine – when it suits their purposes. They are working feverishly with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and other ultra-rightists to suppress the Black vote in Florida and elsewhere even if it means running roughshod over the Voting Rights Act. The best memorial we can build to Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner is to register millions of new voters to oust Bush-Cheney Nov. 2

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