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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Bush Proposes Steep Cuts in $2.57T Budget

    WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) proposed a $2.57 trillion budget Monday that erases scores of programs and slices Medicaid, disabled housing and many more but still worsens federal deficits by $42 billion over the next five years.

    In one of the most austere presidential budgets in years — one that faces precarious prospects in Congress — Bush would give nine of the 15 Cabinet-level departments less money in 2006 than they are getting this year. Overall, he would cut non-security domestic spending — excluding automatically paid benefits like Medicare — by nearly 1 percent next year. Bush said it was the first such reduction proposed by the White House since President Reagan's day.

    Forty-eight education programs would be eliminated, including one for ridding schools of drugs. In all, more than 150 government-wide programs would be eliminated or slashed deeply, including Amtrak subsidies, oil and gas research, and grants to communities hiring police officers.

    Bush would slow the growth of benefit programs by $137 billion over the next decade, nearly quadruple the savings he proposed a year ago with little success. Chief among the targets would be Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled, but farmers' payments, student loans and veterans medical services were also on the chopping block.

    "It's a budget that focuses on results," Bush told reporters after meeting with his Cabinet. "The taxpayers of America don't want us spending our money into something that's not achieving results."

    Yet largely because of Bush's plans for a defense buildup, this year's Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites) war costs, and a handful of new tax cuts, the budget shows that deficits over the five years ending in 2010 would total nearly $1.4 trillion.

    That is $42 billion worse than they would be if the government continued current spending levels and made no tax-law changes other than making permanent his already enacted tax cuts, his budget tables showed.

    Bush's blueprint would leave next year's deficit at an estimated $390 billion — and omit any new money next year for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That would be a reduction from last year's record $412 billion shortfall and would still leave Bush on his course to halve deficits by 2009, the White House said.

    Even so, a $390 billion shortfall would be the third worst ever if his projection for $427 billion in red ink for this year comes true.

    Without Bush's new tax and spending plans, the 2006 deficit would otherwise be $361 billion, the budget tables showed. The figures demonstrated how federal costs are soaring despite growing revenues the economy is pumping into the government.

    Bush's package faced an uncertain fate in Congress, where conservatives seemed ready to demand deeper deficit reduction and Democrats — and some Republicans — were sure to resist its spending cuts.

    Underscoring the jostling that lawmakers were preparing for, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., lauded the plan as "a blueprint to fund our nation's priorities" but called it "a good starting point for the Congress to begin its work."

    Democrats chided the package for its proposed cuts and because they said it obscured more serious deficit problems ahead. They complained it excludes next year's war costs and the price tags of Bush's Social Security (news - web sites) overhaul and of keeping the alternative minimum tax from affecting more middle-income families.

    "Why is he playing this hide-and-seek game?" asked Sen. Kent Conrad (news, bio, voting record) of North Dakota, top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee. "I believe it's because he really doesn't want people to know where he is headed."

    Bush was expected to propose an $81 billion war package for the rest of 2005 in a few days. Congress has already approved $25 billion for the year.

    Besides omitting the impact of revamping Social Security, Bush proposed no specific savings at all from Medicare, the health program for the elderly and disabled. The $340 billion-a-year program, though $200 billion smaller than Social Security, faces a long-term solvency problem whose solution is technically and politically more complicated because of the intricacies of health costs.

    Bush was using some of his budget cuts to funnel billions to White House priorities.

    Defense and domestic security would both see healthy growth, as would select education, public housing, space and other programs. He would also create tax breaks totaling $74 billion over the next decade to encourage low-income people to buy health insurance.

    Even so, the budget provided ample evidence that deficits were limiting his agenda.

    Bush's proposed 4.8 percent increase for the Pentagon (news - web sites) would bring its budget next year to $419.3 billion, excluding Iraq war costs. Yet that was $3.4 billion less than he projected for 2006 just a year ago, with weapons procurement among the leading areas feeling the crunch.

    He was seeking increases for perennial favorites like veterans health care, aid to low-income school districts, special education — but all dramatically less than he proposed last year.

    Even his tax-cutting agenda was under the gun and had little new. Of the $1.4 trillion in 10-year tax cuts, more than $1.1 trillion was his oft-repeated call to make his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Don't blame me. I didn't vote for the fucker.
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  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! csm5150's Avatar
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    I didn't vote for Dumbya either, but we are stuck with him. My favorite is the proposed cuts to agricultural subsidies. There are no price fixes in on the crop prices, so the farmer is screwed and relies on subsidies to make ends meet. Now thanks to our genius president, these subsidies that are unfortunately needed are being slashed. Thanks George, you are two for two-having us in a war we don't belong in (and let's keep throwing money there to "solve" the problems you created) and for screwing the American farmer once again.
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    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    And a lot of those farmers voted for him if I'm not mistaken.
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    Sinner's Swing! csm5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LowLifeFlatHeadScum
    And a lot of those farmers voted for him if I'm not mistaken.
    Touche, that they did. I, however, did not. Far from a Republican/typical farmer here.
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  6. #6
    The Frantic Antic TopTimi's Avatar
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    I am totally embarassed to have this ridiculous excuse of a man/president/leader for this great country of ours.

  7. #7
    Good Enough extreme red roth's Avatar
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    06.16.17 @ 09:53 AM
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    Gentleman, gentleman...relax, just a bit. Numbers can be spun...remember that. As I've said in other threads I believe it is our duty to question our leaders...but let us hear both sides of the arguement.

    I'll say this, to the President's credit, he isn't going out like a lamb. As a lame duck, he doesn't have to do anything except clean up the mess that is the war in Iraq, but he is "taking chances". There are many that believed Bill Clinton did not do enough in his second term....just food for thought.

    The original post contained a news story with a definate slant and a dizzying array of numbers...Even if you are as bright as they come, I think it is really difficult to understand all of it....but dealing in reality, the house and senate will get their changes incorporated into it so it will pass, and I reckon it will be a much different version of the President's original. That's just politics.
    Last edited by extreme red roth; 02.07.05 at 09:30 PM.
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  8. #8
    Niners Fan! SactoFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by csm5150
    Touche, that they did. I, however, did not. Far from a Republican/typical farmer here.
    If farms can't stay open on their own steam, why is the government required to keep them open?
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoFan
    If farms can't stay open on their own steam, why is the government required to keep them open?

    How are they "required" to stay open? The fact of the matter is costs of inputs (i.e. seed, fertilizer, fuel, etc) have steadily increased while the price for the commodity itself has not followed suit. For example, I began working with my father full time 4 years ago. During that time, the crop price was the lowest its been in 50 years, however the price for inputs were not at the same level. Needless to say, my father lost his shirt that year. The subsidies did help, however they weren't nearly enough. My father has saved up quite a bit over the 30+ years and he's able to weather the storm. Several persons I know had to get out after that year. The bottom line: the government does not care about the American farmer. I have yet to hear any politician say he supports the farmer and then follow it up. It would nice to see a president actually support the farmers. Of course, the president we have now has no idea where his food comes from.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Just some, uh, food for thought here. If farming isn't economically viable (that's what you're saying, csm), why go into farming? More to the point, farmers should be giving up farming to do something that's sustainable. In the long run, that is far better for the economy. What alternatives are there to that?

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk TheresOnlyOneWay's Avatar
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    The government funds art, don't they? I'd rather have the money go to our farmers than the arts. If you need your art funded, maybe no one wants to see it in the first place.
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Comparing the NEA to farm subsidies is rather... silly. The amounts of money involved are staggeringly different, along with the economic ramifications.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk TheresOnlyOneWay's Avatar
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    Of course it is.
    Sammy did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it.
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    Now the new David-Lee-Roth-Van Halen album, “Tokyo Dome In Concert,” is available for purchase, and it’s super, super, super, super, super, super, crazy bad. - Doug Elfman

  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing! csm5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL
    Just some, uh, food for thought here. If farming isn't economically viable (that's what you're saying, csm), why go into farming? More to the point, farmers should be giving up farming to do something that's sustainable. In the long run, that is far better for the economy. What alternatives are there to that?
    Its not all ways bad-just here lately it has been. Its obvious that you have no farm background whatsoever, so let me explain it. I grew up on my family's farm, as did my dad, and his dad. This farm is in my blood, for lack of a better word. Its something I enjoy doing-even though the prices suck. It hasn't all ways been bad-it was really great when my dad started. Let's say the farmers gave up farming since its bad. It certainly wouldn't be good for the economy-it would be the exact opposite. The supply for food products (grain for example) would drop dramatically, thus making the prices soar just as dramatically. So if farmers got out of farming b/c the prices were bad, then we'd be paying $5 for a loaf of bread and other outrageous prices. What alternatvies would we have then? Its not like these subsidies are a major part of the budget-on the contrary. Its a drop in the bucket compared to the "war", oil exploration (gee, wonder why that is?), etc.
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    Sinner's Swing! csm5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL
    Comparing the NEA to farm subsidies is rather... silly. The amounts of money involved are staggeringly different, along with the economic ramifications.
    And what ramifications would that be?
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