From the Washington Post:
President Bush will present a budget tomorrow that would slow the growth of Medicare and cut or eliminate an array of domestic programs but still anticipates a flood of new red ink that will rival the record deficits of his first term, administration officials said.
Bush’s fiscal 2009 budget would increase defense spending by 5 percent and put a modest amount of new money into favored initiatives such as veterans affairs, education and homeland security.
But the president wants to dramatically slow the growth of big federal health programs, reduce anti-terrorism grants for states and cities, and cut spending on anti-poverty, housing and social service programs, according to budget documents and interviews with officials throughout the federal government.
The early literacy program Even Start would be eliminated, as would grants to states for education technology, technology careers and incarcerated youth. Funding for a college scholarship program named after Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) would fall from $40 million to zero, a symbolic shot at a fierce Bush critic.
Lawmakers and their aides say Bush has little leverage left to force his proposals on a recalcitrant Congress.
But even in the unlikely event that he were to get his way, the budget deficit would jump sharply, from $163 billion in 2007 to about $400 billion in 2008 and 2009 […]
Still, the new budget underscores Bush’s inability to get control of spending over the course of his seven-year tenure, a failure that has concerned even his conservatives allies.
Alice M. Rivlin, who served President Bill Clinton as budget director, pointed out that Bush “inherited a very large surplus,” but his “legacy from a fiscal point of view is having blown an opportunity to ameliorate the long-run budget deficits.”
White House officials and allies acknowledge the long-term problem but pin the blame on Congress for ignoring the president’s calls to control the growth of Social Security and Medicare.
Ohhh!! It’s Congress‘ fault!
Administration officials described fierce behind-the-scenes battles over spending in the final Bush budget. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went back three times to the internal budget review board — which includes Vice President Cheney, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten and National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessy — to appeal for more funds. In the end, she also spoke directly with Bush to secure an increase of $700 million for the State Department, 6.5 percent over last year’s budget.
An increase? It must be Condi’s fault!
Among the cuts:
Department of Health and Human Services–more than $2 billion
Administration for Children and Families–more than $1 billion (includes $280 million that would have gone to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
Social Services Block Grant program (helps states protect abused and neglected kids)–$500 million
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)–$430 million (includes $27 million to fund infectious disease research and prevention and eliminates a $301 million program that trains 2,700 pediatric specialists in fields that have critical shortages)
Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program–budget cut $194 million (almost two-thirds) for afterschool programs
Bush will continue to boost Department of Homeland Security spending to tighten the borders. But states and cities would see cuts of $1.5 billion from the $3.75 billion in grants for security, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical teams approved by Congress for this year.
Your tax dollars at work, kids!