President George W. Bush’s budget proposal for 2007 intends to increase military spending by seven percent and the Pentagon will recieve a five percent increase while over 140 social programs will be cut in efforts to reduce the deficit.
According to Bush’s proposal, drug and alcohol education programs as well as a program to feed the elderly will be cut. He asks for $70 billion in military spending, $18 billion will go toward the efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast.
A number of students feel there is a lack of support for the American people. This recent budget proposal as well as decisions made concerning the war in Iraq has students questioning Bush’s dedication to the welfare of the American people.
“Bush has been out of his mind since he took office. His budget proposal is ludicrous and attempts to rectify an unfortunate decision that he himself made while ignoring the needs of the American society,” said Iman Powe-Maynard, a student at Howard University.
Though Powe-Maynard is not from the Gulf Coast and does not benefit from the social programs that may be cut, as a student, she is affected by Bush proposal since it failed to increase the Pell Grant, a need-based grant awarded to college students.
On Feb.4, students from Howard and area schools in Washington such as Georgetown University, participated in a rally with thousands of other protestors demanding that “BUSH STEP DOWN and take your program with you.” Protestors marched around the White House in order to take their demands directly to Bush. Kari Fulton, a junior legal communications major was in attendance. Fulton says she does not support Bush’s agenda and that allotting more money to Iraq is disheartening.
Fulton said she choose to attend the rally because, “I wanted to try to motivate other college students and represent Howard in letting people know that we are not appreciative of what he is doing to the American people. What he is doing is not patriotic. He cares more for people of another country but he can’t take care of his own people.”
Charles Mills,a New Orleans resident, and a senior majoring in mathematics agrees with Powe-Maynard and Fulton on the discrepancies in Bush’s agenda. “I think its irresponsible. If you take care of your own people and make sure they are ok, no one can attack you,” he said. “It’s a shame that the government tries to spread this ideal about community and family but they aren’t their for us in our time of need.”