May 2, 2003

Real Californias Feel Budget War on Children While Bush Promotes Tax Cuts For Millionaires

Good News for The Rich, Bad News for The Poor

President Bush is visiting California this week where he will promote his trillion dollar tax cut package and discuss issues of national security. The President’s plan proposes to dismantle, eliminate, slash and freeze essential services children in California need in order to pay for massive new tax breaks for the rich.

Some Santa Clara parents are worried about budget cuts that may cause them to lose their child care benefits, which allow them to continue working while their children are cared for in safe and educational environments.

Maria Gomez, a 41 year-old mother of four, lives in Santa Clara County and works as a temporary employee at Apple Computers earning $10.00/hour, without benefits. She currently receives childcare assistance for her two daughters, Jennifer, who is 2, and 10 year old Ruby.

“I don’t understand why my daughters are going to lose their child care benefit while the wealthy are getting more money back. Look at our schools - they are losing teachers and are under funded. If we don’t take care of children’s needs, they will end up on drugs or in gangs. It’s not right.” stated Gomez. “I just don’t know what I’m going to do if my baby loses her child care. I don’t know where I will take her.” Gomez continued.

36 year old Bridget Jackson, a single mother of three, was recently laid off after 8 years of full time work. She currently attends night school where she hopes to obtain a nursing credential and find work in a hospital. While helping her children Brandon, 13; Reliese, 8; and Ashtyn, 3 do their homework, she ponders her situation, “If I lose my child care assistance, I will be devastated. I can see myself being

homeless, because child care is so expensive. I’m trying to go to school to better my situation, and without child care, I’ll have to quit school.” Jackson continues, “It’s just not a wise choice to be giving money back to the financially well off when we have families that are just going day to day trying to feed their kids; the ones who suffer the most are the children.”

Children’s Defense Fund’s President Marian Wright Edelman said millionaires didn’t need the tax cut Congress gave them two years ago, and don’t need a new one now, especially when the nation is experiencing a surge in unemployed parents with more and more children falling into extreme poverty, and a million American children are homeless each year.

“We must meet our children’s needs during peacetime and wartime, during economic prosperity and downturn. How can we take food from children to give tax cuts to millionaires?” asked Edelman. “It is immoral to subsidize massive new tax breaks for the rich on the backs of poor children.”

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