Saturday, May 9, 2009

Let's Do the Math

Obama to cut slain officers program almost in half

There's a little snarky meme floating around this morning concerning a cut in budget for the Public Safety Officers' Death Benefits Program. Last year  the program was funded with $110 million. The proposed budget cuts that to $60 million.

The usual conservative opinionators, like Warner Houston,  are feigning outrage. How dare Obama dishonor the fallen?  Why isn't the liberal media all over this?

Well, it could be because the program was seriously over funded during the Bush years. Paying benefits to survivors in the $300,000 range, the program would have issued just shy of $40,000,000 last year for 133 slain officers, leaving a surplus of $70,000,000.Cutting $50,000,000 from that bloated budget doesn't seem like such a big deal, after all.

But what if the number of killed officers goes up in 2009? The numbers for year to date do indicate a 21% increase over last year, but it's hard to say if that increase will hold throughout the rest of '09. Even so, a bump of 21% would call for benefits to be paid for up to 160 recipients. That totals about $48,000,000, still well below the proposed $60 million budget.

Sure looks like fiscal responsibility to me.

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