The AFT is calling on members of Congress to reject the Bush administration's proposals for the fiscal year 2006 budget, which would reduce funding significantly for education, Medicaid, job training and numerous other domestic programs "critical to helping millions of Americans become productive members of society." In a March 3 letter to Congress, AFT president Edward J. McElroy notes that at the same time the administration is calling for sharp cuts, it also is advocating additional unpaid-for tax cuts "at the expense of disadvantaged Americans least able to endure these program reductions." The president's budget claims to reduce the rapidly expanding federal deficit, but many of the costs associated with the war in Iraq, the administration's proposal to privatize Social Security, and new tax reductions are not reflected in the budget. Together, these omissions "only serve to mask the true size of the public debt," says McElroy. "An honest budget must be based on realistic assessments, and any cuts must be fair and balanced. It should also take into consideration the current and future needs of all Americans—not just the beneficiaries of the administration's tax giveaways."