Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Monday, February 05, 2007
Budget Noise
You're going to be seeing many stories over the next few days like this one:
(AP) Health care providers would get smaller pay increases when caring for the elderly, poor and disabled under President Bush's budget plan submitted to Congress on Monday.

The recommendations, if adopted, would trim Medicare spending by $66 billion over five years. That means the health care program for seniors would grow at a 6.7 percent clip rather than a 7.6 percent rate, budget officials said.
Bush is asking for $2.9 trillion in spending next year, including a whooping increase in Pentagon spending up to $624.6 billion for 2008, more than one-fifth of the total budget, up from $600.3 billion in 2007 (and up 62% from 2001 levels), while effectively cutting domestic spending. Interestingly, interest payment on the debt is at $250 billion. Also note that the Iraq war, if funded at the levels requested by Bush, will exceed the cost of Vietnam (and that's in inflation adjusted dollars)

What is interesting about the mind-numbing numbers is that is all just fluff right now. And that's a major difference from past Bush budgets which have been received by a Republican controlled Congress. A Democratically controlled Congress will have something to say about the net cut in domestic discretionary spending while trimming, at least a small amount, the Pentagon's inflated and bloated budget.

Until Congress gets to work on actually passing legislation on the budget, it's all just intention.