This just in... which is to say, "This just noticed."
President Bush today proposed a $2.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2007 that would cut billions of dollars from domestic programs ranging from Medicare and food stamps to local law enforcement and disease control, while extending most of his tax cuts beyond their 2010 expiration date.
Well thank god. Who needs disease control with AIDS, HPV, and the Bird Flu on the loose? Not us!
Under the plan, a budget deficit -- expected to reach $423 billion this year -- would fall to $183 billion by 2010, more than meeting his goal to cut the deficit in half by 2009. But it would rise again to $205 billion in 2011, reflecting the cost of the extensions in the president's tax cuts.
Nice shell-game there.
The budget, for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, is a tall order for a Congress facing a difficult election year. Defense spending would rise 6.9 percent, from $411 billion to $439 billion. Homeland security spending would rise by 3.3 percent.
It obviously costs a lot to torture civilians and eavesdrop on random American citizens.
But all other operations of government would fall by $2.2 billion, or 0.5 percent.
To accommodate increased spending in the president's favored non-security programs such as diplomacy and foreign aid, veterans health care and energy, other programs would face significant cuts. Agriculture spending would fall 6.5 percent and education spending would drop 3.8 percent. The Department of Transportation would lose 9.4 percent of its discretionary budget. The Army Corps of Engineers -- a congressional favorite that was highly criticized in the wake of Hurricane Katrina -- would be cut 11.2 percent.
Well that's okay. I mean, if there are any programs we don't need, certainly they include education, health care for VETERANS, and the guys who build dikes.
Please note: I mean dikes, not dykes which are, as far as I know, not manufactured.
But the biggest savings would come from entitlement programs, in which spending rises and falls according to complex formulas that Congress would have to change to meet Bush's demands. The president proposed cutting Medicare by $36 billion over five years, and $105 billion over a decade -- mainly by reducing payments to hospitals and other providers. Federal child-support enforcement payments would fall slightly, while Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program would lose $5 billion over five years and $12 billion over 10 years.
Indeed, no child is being left behind here! But wait! There's more!
And a slew of tax cuts, tax incentives and tax-cut extensions would cost the Treasury $1.7 trillion over the next decade, dwarfing the $172 billion in entitlement savings and proposed user fees in the budget.
So what's the Republican solution for too much spending? Hey, it's easy: spend MORE!
All totaled, his proposals for entitlement programs -- including cuts, tax hikes and Social Security partial privatization -- would actually increase spending by $551 billion. But those costs are not reflected in Bush's deficit projections, since the president did not deduct the Social Security costs from the bottom line.
Obviously that must be because Social Security isn't a very expensive program, right? Right? Why are you all laughing so hysterically?
"When it comes to protecting those who need it most, America has always had a moral compass," said Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). "For the past six years, President Bush has read it upside down. After driving the nation into a fiscal mess, the president is asking our seniors, our students and our families to clean it up while the wealthy special interests reap the rewards."
Now, if y'all will excuse me, I'm going to go kill myself.
Special thanks to the FHR for bringing this to my attention.