Surprise: Bush’s Proposed Budget Would Increase Deficit

Redink 190 Graphic from the New York Times

The big news today in Washington (other than that other big news) is that President Bush’s new proposed budget would increase the deficit.

President Bush sent Congress a $3.1 trillion budget on Monday that would increase military spending and curb the growth of Medicare and Medicaid but raise the federal deficit by nearly $250 billion, a major setback for a president who is trying to restore his credentials as a fiscal conservative.

Hardly surprising news for anyone that’s been alive for last seven years, I would say. Nevertheless, one graphic in the New York Times that really hit me was this one that tracks the deficit for the last four presidents (shown on the right).

This is a really good illustration of just how ridiculous it is when Republicans call Democrats big spenders. It kind of makes them look like monkeys.

Reading further into the article, I came across another gem (Emphasis mine):

If the Defense Department’s proposed $515.4 billion budget is approved in full, it will mean that, when adjusted for inflation, annual military spending will reach its highest level since World War II. The figure does not include spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror and supplemental items.

Okay, so the military budget does not include the two eternal wars that the US is engaged in, the “War on Terror” (which can and has encompassed just about everything), and supplemental items. What’s left? Didn’t the last emergency spending bill for Afghanistan and Iraq come in at about $100 billion alone. This makes me think again about the The Federal Budget: the Public’s Priorities.

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