Smoking Budgets

Before teachers lose their jobs, are they going to cut the tobacco cessation program completely?
After sharpening his red pencils and spending long nights squeezing the treasury for every penny, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is set to tell New Yorkers that the budget for the next year will be excruciatingly painful.
Are they de-funding the programs to help junkies kick their habits?
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has already said he could be forced to eliminate 15,000 education jobs, one third by attrition. The federal stimulus package could save some of the teaching jobs.
All over the country, states are struggling to fill huge budget gaps, telling citizens to prepare to see their favorite programs cut. But have they started by getting all the nonsense out of the budgets? In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick even wants to raise taxes, the worst of reactions in a recession - but that won't interfer with big plans for prisoners.
The Herald disclosed yesterday that the Dept of Corrections plunked down $76,958 for the swanky sets -- angering even prison advocates who wondered why the money didn't go toward rehab programs or to improve conditions of overcrowded penitentiaries.
In Seattle, government workers still want their pay hikes, despite a huge budget crisis.
Labor groups aren't happy about the prospect of cuts. In fact, they want more spending.
State workers still want their pay increases, negotiated by the governor's office and the unions this year. Teachers want higher wages, too. And health-care advocates don't want cuts that will hurt the vulnerable.
In Washington, the Stimulus Package, a slap in the face to voters, includes $4 billion for street gangs like ACORN, the voter fraud division of the Democratic Party.
House Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement over the weekend noting that the stimulus bill wending its way through Congress provides $4.19 billion for "neighborhood stabilization activities."
They say it's an emergency, but they act like Ray Nagin with Katrina bearing down.