Budget ups and downs

Budget ups and downs

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On Monday, the Obama administration released its 2011 budget, a $3. 8-trillion, 192-page effort to move from “recession to recovery, and ultimately to prosperity,” according to the president.

The administration also released 13 fact sheets summarizing information for specific groups. Among the fact sheet topics were job creation for urban areas, job creation for rural areas, clean energy, education, military families and “Expanding Opportunities for the LGBT Community.”

In the LGBT fact sheet, the administration outlines five initiatives “to support the needs of the LGBT community,” including an 11-percent increase in funding for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to help implement the 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The second initiative is support the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, which provides benefits such as health and life insurance, vision and dental, worker’s compensation and survivor annuities for same-sex partners of federal employees.

The fact sheet also stated the 2011 budget increased resources for the Ryan White CARE program, expanded HIV/AIDS medical services for populations disproportionately impacted by the disease and increased funding for those with HIV/AIDS and co-infections with tuberculosis, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases.

Two more specific programs that received funding are the five-year, $45-million “Act Against AIDS” campaign, a CDC effort to reduce HIV incidence with online, radio and transit ads, and $1.3 billion for the Census Bureau to “process, tabulate and release 2010 Census data,” which includes a special report on what “unedited data reveals about measuring same-sex marriages.” In 2000, the Census edited (re-coded) same-sex couples who reported they were married to someone of the same sex.

The Obama administration has already taken criticism for some of the program cuts and President Obama’s proposal to freeze domestic spending for three years on some programs is getting mixed reviews.

The budget includes 126 terminations, for a savings of $23 billion in 2011, with an additional 78 discretionary terminations and reductions for another $10 billion in savings.

The cuts run the gamut, from cutting NASA’s Constellation Program to ending scholarships that haven’t received attention in years, from military defense spending to election reform grants.

Some of the more interesting cuts: — C-17 Aircraft production, cost savings of $2.5 billion — Joint Strike Fighter Alternate engine, cost savings of $465 million — Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, cost savings of $197 million — Greek and Croation broadcasts of Voice of America, cost savings of $3 million.


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