The Bush administration has told officials who oversee federal education, domestic security, veterans and other programs to prepare preliminary 2006 budgets that would cut spending after the presidential election, according to White House documents.
The programs facing reductions — should President Bush be re-elected in November — would also include the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department.
Many of the targeted programs are widely popular. Cuts could carry a political price for a president who has touted his support for schools, the environment and other domestic initiatives.
Domestic security at the Homeland Security Department and other agencies would go from $30.6 billion in 2005 to $29.6 billion in 2006, a 3 percent drop.
_The Education Department would go from $57.3 billion in 2005 to $55.9 billion in 2006, 2.4 percent less.
_The Veterans Affairs Department would fall 3.4 percent from $29.7 billion in 2005 to $28.7 billion.
_The Environmental Protection Agency would drop from $7.8 billion in 2005 to $7.6 billion, or 2.6 percent.
_The National Institutes of Health, which finances biomedical research and had its budget doubled over a recent five-year period, would fall from $28.6 billion to $28 billion, or 2.1 percent.
_The Interior Department would fall 1.9 percent from $10.8 billion in 2005 to $10.6 billion.
_The Defense Department would grow 5.2 percent to $422.7 billion in 2006, and the Justice Department would increase 4.3 percent to $19.5 billion in 2006.
When you cut taxes for the wealthy somebody has to pay, eh…?