Proposed Bush budget cuts environment spending and ag subsidies

Turns out tax cuts for the wealthy aren’t cheap. President Bush’s fiscal 2006 budget, sent to Congress today, would cut the U.S. EPA budget by about 6 percent and the National Park Service budget by nearly 3 percent, part of a broad range of cuts that will also affect Medicaid, home-heating aid for the poor, American Indian schools, and a number of other social programs. Though critics deplored the cuts, saying they would hit society’s most vulnerable the hardest, many had guarded praise for another proposal in the budget: cutting federal agricultural subsidies, the country’s oldest and largest corporate welfare program, by $5.74 billion over the next decade. The proposal would cap subsidies to individual farmers at $250,000, down from the current cap of $360,000, and tighten eligibility requirements to close loopholes that let some big farm businesses collect millions a year. “This proposal is a very big deal. I am stunned and impressed,” said Kenneth Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group.