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Report: New Mexicans Would Feel Economic Pinch from Bush Budget

February 22, 2007

New Mexicans who rely on a wide range of public service programs stands to lose those programs under President Bush's proposed 2008 budget, according to a new report. The impact could amount to $126 million for public education, Head Start and food assistance for seniors, according to the Washington D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Sharon Kayne, with New Mexico Voices for Children, says that means thousands of New Mexicans, especially children, could see cuts to programs they rely on.

"It means either the state will have to dig into its coffers to make up for the missing money, or local governments would have to raise taxes. The programs have to be paid for, either here or in Washington, or they have to be cut."

Kayne says over 16,000 elderly New Mexicans would lose some food assistance, and she says that's doubly hard because New Mexico has one of the largest populations of people raising grandchildren in the nation.

"The food assistance can mean the difference between having a meal every day for a month or running out of food before the month is out. And, if those are the same folks who are raising their grandkids, then of course the children suffer as well."

The report shows the federal budget would result in cuts to low-income food and energy assistance, K-12 education and Head Start, but would still provide for the president's controversial tax cuts. The president argues the budget promotes fiscal responsibility and would address the growing inequality between wealthy and moderate-income Americans.

The Center on Budget Policy and Priorities report is online at

Dondrea Warner/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NM