Bush Sends Congress $2.9 Trillion Budget Plan
President Bush sent a $2.9 trillion budget plan to Congress Monday, according to the Washington Post.(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/05/AR2007020500208.html?sub=new)
The proposed budget plan will dramatically increase military spending, but will divert money away from domestic programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Bush's goal is to eliminate the federal deficit by 2012.
The budget calls for an $245 billion increase in spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The budget will cut $96 billion dollars away from Medicare and Medicaid, while also making cuts at eight other federal level agencies such as education and environment. The budget proposal also calls for permanent tax cuts.
Many Democratics rejected Bush's proposal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the tax cuts were aimed at multi-millionaires and ingored the middle class. He also said the budget proposal would erode health coverage for children and seniors.
Bush's defense spending proposal would give less and less money to Iraq each year, leading some to say that he is setting an economic timetable. The President denied these statements.
Bush also said that to eliminate the deficit by 2012 would require economic growth, tight domestic spending, and reduced funding for the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Democrats said the tax cuts will not decrease the federal deficit, instead saying that tax breaks for corporations will have to be eliminated. The Congressional Budget Office also said that it will be difficult to balance the budget if the tax cuts continue.
The temporary tax cuts established in 2002 and 2003 led lawmakers to be wary of raising taxes, for fear of retaliation by taxpayers. Instead the Democrats are trying to find ways to raise revenue without raising taxes on the middle class, according to the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/05/washington/05cnd-budget.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5094&en=36e7d83e38932b3b&hp&ex=1170738000&partner=homepage).
The Post article has an interesting structure. It starts out with the most important information, then it breaks down the bill into sections and more deeply analyzes the budget proposal. It puts a lot of the controversy early on in the story, then gets into specifics about military spending and social service spending. I liked the article but I thought it should have compared this budget proposal to previous ones in a clearer manner. The only comparisons made were quotes from politicians. The Times article went less in depth and focused on the debate throughout the entire article. Almost the entire article was quotes from politicians either in favor of or opposed to the plan. This made the article tiresome and boring. I also thought the Times article had a terrible lead.