The proposal set the stage for a long election-year struggle, drawing sharp criticism from the Democratic majority in Congress as well as a scattering of Republicans concerned about the president's habit of leaving large chunks of the spending out of his annual budget blueprint.
The proposal calls for making permanent Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which have been widely criticized as skewed to the rich and which would begin expiring next year. Doing so would cost Washington more than a half-trillion dollars in forgone revenue over the next five years and more than $2 trillion over the next decade.
The fiscal year 2009 budget seeks $2.2 billion for the agency that serves more than 550 tribes and more than 1.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. The request represents a 4.4 percent decrease from current levels and a 5.1 percent decrease from last year's budget.
On Monday, President George W. Bush presented his budget for fiscal year 2009, which begins Oct. 1. In the final budget of his presidency, Bush proposed serious cuts in federal spending to many programs vital to Indian Country.
Forget all the talk about reservations remained mired in poverty because they have socialist economies and welfare mentalities. The overriding reason is that the US government continually fails to uphold its treaty obligations to fund social services at the necessary levels. With neither their original land and natural resources nor government aid to compensate for their losses, the tribes are screwed.