WASHINGTON – President Bush sent Congress a $2.77 trillion budget plan on Monday that would boost spending in the war against terror but squeeze a wide swath of other government programs to deal with exploding budget deficits.
Bush, hoping to get his domestic agenda back on track after a year of political setbacks, unveiled a budget blueprint with a heavy emphasis on keeping the country strong militarily. It would also make his first-term tax cuts permanent, at a cost of $1.4 trillion over 10 years, and still achieve his goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009.
Achieving these two goals constrained Bush’s efforts to offer new initiatives although he did put forward a few mostly modest programs to deal with American anxieties about global competition, soaring energy costs and skyrocketing medical bills.
But among the losers were 141 government programs that Bush sought to sharply reduce or eliminate entirely. Almost one-third of the targeted programs are in education including ones that provide money to support the arts, vocational education, parent resource centers and drug-free schools.