Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Debt & Deception

..that about sums it all up!
Bush sends budget to Congress

Proposal, senator asserts, 'is filled with debt and deception'

Published: February 5, 2007

President George W. Bush on Monday sent Congress a $2.9 trillion budget that would sharply raise military spending while restraining nearly all nonsecurity and domestic spending.

"I strongly believe Congress needs to listen to a budget which says no tax increase and a budget, because of fiscal discipline, that can be balanced in five years," Bush said after meeting with his cabinet.

One Democratic senator called the proposed military spending, the highest overall level since the Korean War, staggering, and another called it deceitful.

"The president's budget is filled with debt and deception, disconnected from reality and continues to move America in the wrong direction," said Senator Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat and chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

In the plan, delivered to Congress in the form of four fat green books, the Bush administration requests an 11 percent increase for Pentagon spending authority, to $481 billion.

For the first time, the administration, after lawmakers' complaints, moved at the start of a budget cycle to estimate war costs a year in advance.

Democrats welcomed the new approach even as they opened a historic debate over the war in the Senate, focusing on resolutions critical of Bush's planned troop increase for Iraq.

For 2007, the budget document requests an additional $93.4 billion for Iraq and the global campaign against terrorism, beyond the $70 billion already requested for this fiscal year, to be followed by $141.7 billion in 2008 and $50 billion for the six months after.

Bush denied that this 30-month budget projection for Iraq amounted to a schedule for withdrawal.

The budget plan proposes spending of some $700 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services and about $656 billion for the Social Security Administration.

The plan assumes moderate economic growth in the coming year and a slight decline in the inflation rate.

"With continued strong economic growth and spending discipline, we are now positioned to balance the budget by 2012, while providing for our national security and making tax relief permanent."

Democrats said the proposal for tax cuts rendered the budget-surplus projection unrealistic and would ultimately lead to a ballooning of the deficit.

The administration proposal to save billions by slowing increases in Medicare and Medicaid, the huge and politically sensitive health insurance programs for the retired and the poor, is sure to face vigorous opposition.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


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