Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Bush 2007 Budget Calls for $2.7 Trillion in Federal Spending

What? Do the Republicans, whose song and dance used to be about the benefits of smaller government, etc., etc., think that smaller government is going to happen by itself? Do they think that smaller (perhaps even Constitutionally-limited) government will just fall out of the sky? And does President Bush really believe he is going to be able to make his tax cuts permanent, in this environment--without wrecking the economy, that is?

What planet are these people on?!

Small wonder that the Federal Reserve plans to stop reporting M-3 next month (March 23 is the date I have), and that our Federal Government is risking starting World War III to prevent the fiat dollar from crashing and burning when Iran opens its oil bourse on March 20!

We will not see any changes until we diagnose the problems. One of the problems is that Americans, by and large, have fully embraced the entitlement mindset that began with the Rooseveltian New Deal, and expect the Federal Government to take care of them. The result has become intergenerational redistribution of the wealth, a system that will become less and less sustainable as more and more of 77 million baby boomers head into their retirement years.

The bottom line is that the United States of America has become a socialist society that does not recognize that its economic system is primarily socialist (it is, of course, the corporatist variety of socialism, so as to preserve a semblence of, and the language of, free market capitalism).

This is what we need to talk about openly.

Article courtesy of Joan Masters, here's the news. [Original here.]

Bush's '07 budget calls for $2.7 trillion spending
February 6, 2006
ASSOCIATED PRESS


President Bush's 2007 budget proposes spending more than $2.7 trillion, showering big increases on defense and homeland security and a smattering of other favored programs such as scientific research, education and energy.

At the same time, Mr. Bush's blueprint being submitted to Congress today proposes shrinking or eliminating 141 programs while achieving $36 billion in Medicare savings over the next five years.

The plan for the budget year that begins Oct. 1 lays out a path to achieving two of the president's chief domestic goals -- making permanent his first-term tax cuts, which are set to expire after 2010, and cutting the deficit in half by 2009, the year Mr. Bush will leave office.

Details about the plan come from public statements, such as Mr. Bush's State of the Union address last week, and interviews with officials familiar with the budget proposal who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want pre-empt the president's announcement today.

The budget's arrival on Capitol Hill will set off months of intense debate, made even more contentious by congressional elections in November in which Democrats want to wrest congressional control from the Republicans.

Although Congress is expected to reshape Mr. Bush's proposals significantly, Republicans voiced support for the blueprint's objectives.

"The American people know that our government's too big, and it spends too much. And they expect Congress to do something about it," newly elected House Majority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Democrats sought to portray it as an election-year campaign document rather than an honest effort to deal with exploding deficits.

The budget proposal's release comes only weeks before the national debt will hit the current limit of $8.18 trillion, requiring Congress to vote for an increase to keep the government operating.

"This budget is just detached from reality. The debt is exploding and the president isn't facing up to it," said Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee.

The administration has said the deficit for this year will top $400 billion, compared with last year's $319 billion. The costs of fighting in Iraq and rebuilding the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast have pushed government spending higher than anticipated.

The administration said last week that it would submit a supplemental spending request for an additional $18 billion for hurricane relief for the current budget year, bringing total spending in response to the storms to more than $100 billion.

The administration also will seek an additional $120 billion to help pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year and the early part of 2007. That increase is on top of a nearly 5 percent rise in Pentagon spending to $439.3 billion in Mr. Bush's budget.

The Homeland Security Department is in line for about a 5 percent increase in its operating budget, not counting the costs of hurricane relief. To offset these costs, the White House is seeking to double a passenger security fee from $2.50 per flight to $5, a proposal Congress rejected last year.

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