The first bullet points I heard included:
-- $407 billion deficit in 2009.The LA Times reported, with a straight face: "In a cost-saving gesture, the government for the first time did not provide free copies of the four-volume proposal to Congress, instead releasing it online and charging $200 per printed copy ordered through the Government Printing Office." Oh, yeah, that'll help. Here's the LINK, if you want to read the budget's fine print for free.
-- Pentagon gets $515 billion, a 7.5% increase
-- Medicare will be cut by $178 billion
-- Medicaid will be cut by $17 billion
-- Other "social programs" also cut
-- A return to a "surplus" in 2012 (if you believe in the Tooth Fairy)
Democrats immediately pronounced the budget "irresponsible," but I was most interested to hear what Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, had to say. I'm guessing that he must be conflicted: torn between his support of the President while at the same time upended by the budget's overall fiscal irresponsibility -- another $800 billion in deficits over two years, anyone? Um, maybe not ...
After the break, read what Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, had to say. Also, below that, Sen. Herb Kohl weighs in.
“The President's budget achieves the important goal of balancing the budget in the near term – without raising taxes – through fiscal policies that promote economic growth, and limit federal spending to realistic levels.Sen. Herb Kohl, D-WI, said this about Bush's budget:
“The President's budget also recognizes that our nation's challenges go well beyond the next few years. This budget takes a significant, critical step toward addressing the greatest threat to our nation's future strength and prosperity -- the unsustainable growth of our largest entitlement programs. While acknowledging it doesn't 'fix' the entitlement problem in one fell swoop, this budget proposes reforms that would reduce Medicare's long-term unfunded liability by nearly one third.
“Last year, this Congress adopted a budget that called for massive increases in the already-unsustainable rate of federal spending -- all to be financed by the largest tax increase in our nation's history. It also failed to propose critical entitlement reforms – instead choosing to further expand these programs that we know, today, cannot keep their promises as currently structured. With each year Congress fails to address the entitlement crisis, the worse the problems, and more difficult the solutions, become.
“There are two key goals Congress must keep in mind as it crafts this year's budget: first, to keep taxes low and spending in check; and second, to set a sustainable path for our nation's future.”
“The President proposed a three-trillion-dollar budget with record deficits and the biggest defense expenditure since World War II. It squeezes Medicare and Medicaid, sacrificing families’ access to medical care. It puts college tuition further out of reach, and cuts assistance to Americans struggling with energy bills, especially at a time when the economy is limping and family household budgets are stretched thin.
“This budget is not going to get the job done. Congress can and will do better in addressing the problems of real people on education and health care, creating new jobs, preventing crime in our communities, and bringing down energy costs. I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans alike in passing a plan that puts the priorities of the American people first.”