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Highlights of 2008 Budget

President Bush will lay out a $2.9 trillion budget for fiscal year 2008 on Monday that also includes projections for spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through 2009. Below are some details of the spending plan that were previewed by U.S. officials and in media reports.

WAR AND MILITARY SPENDING

Bush will seek $100 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the rest of fiscal year 2007 and more than $145 billion for fiscal year 2008. The budget also will project $50 billion in war costs for 2009 but none beyond that.

The war request for 2008 will include $5.6 billion to fund Bush's proposal to send an extra 21,500 troops to Iraq.

The 2008 budget would boost the regular Pentagon budget by 10.5 percent to $481 billion, according to a U.S. official who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting Bush's announcement.

DOMESTIC SPENDING

Domestic discretionary spending would grow by 1 percent.

Bush will propose bolstering some programs like Pell grants for low-income college students.

HEALTH CARE

Bush will seek savings of $66 billion in the Medicare health program for the elderly over five years and $12.7 billion in the Medicaid health plan for the poor. Some savings would be achieved by curbing payments to hospitals and other providers, according to a U.S. official who was briefed on the proposal.

Under the proposal, wealthier seniors would have to pay higher premiums under Medicare for prescription drugs, The Washington Post and New York Times reported.

Media reports have said Bush will aim for savings in the children's health-care program by tightening eligibility requirements.

FARM SUBSIDIES

Bush will seek some curbs on farm programs during the next five years.

THE FISCAL PICTURE

The budget is expected to show a surplus in 2012.

Democrats are likely to question the assumptions underlying the forecast of a surplus.

Bush will call for making his tax cuts permanent and a one-year fix to shield middle-income Americans from the Alternative Minimum Tax.

The budget deficit was $248 billion in fiscal 2006 after hitting an all-time high of $413 billion in 2004.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good job summarizing. Two of our new public opinion studies conclude that the public has little difficulty understanding the magnitude of the fiscal challenge facing the nation. And while the public is also willing to consider tough tradeoffs to address the growing national debt, support for program cuts, reforms or tax increases comes with one key condition: finding ways to increase trust that their leaders will spend their money responsibly and for the purposes intended. So, there are some interesting and timely topics at hand. For more info go to http://www.publicagenda.org/pubengage/pe_facingup.cfm

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