The Bush administration is planning the classic conservative ploy of calling for budget cuts in domestic programs to offset the huge tax cuts granted to rich folks.

The White House put government agencies on notice this month that if President Bush is reelected, his budget for 2006 may include spending cuts for virtually all agencies in charge of domestic programs, including education, homeland security and others that the president backed in this campaign year.

Administration officials had dismissed the significance of the proposed cuts when they surfaced in February as part of an internal White House budget office computer printout. At the time, officials said the cuts were based on a formula and did not accurately reflect administration policy. But a May 19 White House budget memorandum obtained by The Washington Post said that agencies should assume the spending levels in that printout when they prepare their fiscal 2006 budgets this summer.

The programs Bush plans to cut next year — IF he’s re-elected – are the very same programs he’s touting on the campaign trail, according to The Washington Post: “The Education Department; a nutrition program for women, infants and children; Head Start; and homeownership, job-training, medical research and science programs all face cuts in 2006.”

A budget analyst for the conservative Heritage Foundation – one of those many right wing organizations that promote themselves as think tanks but are nothing more than shills for the their constituency – says the budget cuts are needed because of the burgeoning deficit – a deficit caused by the tax cuts. Brian M. Riedl then has the audacity to say, “I think the public is ready for spending cuts. Not only does the public understand there’s a lot of waste in the federal budget, but the public is ready to make sacrifices during the war on terror.”

Sacrifices for the war! Why aren’t the folks making $200,000 and up who are making no sacrifices in terms of hard dollars or their children to fight in the war called upon to give up their tax breaks.

The Post names several programs that will be cut next year by about the same amount they are being increased this year so Bush can take credit with the constituencies they serve.

It continues to amaze me that this administration can be so brazen and blatant in its dishonesty and expect to have any credibility with voters.