Thursday, February 08, 2007

Domestic Discretionary Spending?

Not so much:
The President’s budget calls for substantial reductions in a range of domestic discretionary programs. In many key domestic priority areas — including education, the environment, and state and local law enforcement — funding in fiscal year 2008 would fall below the expected fiscal year 2007 level, adjusted for inflation.

The cuts would then grow deeper in the years after 2008. The cuts would total $114 billion over five years, and would reach $34 billion in a single year by 2012, relative to the expected fiscal year 2007 funding levels adjusted for inflation.

At the same time that the budget proposes reductions in most domestic discretionary program areas, it proposes to make permanent virtually all of the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. The budget’s priorities are clear: extending virtually every tax cut, including those that benefit the most affluent Americans, takes precedence over maintaining current levels of investment in education, biomedical research, and the environment; and over maintaining current levels of services and benefits in the low-income home energy assistance program upon which many poor seniors depend, in the Head Start and child care programs for low-income children, in programs that assist state and local governments in combating crime, and even in veterans’ health care programs.

The cost of extending the tax cuts would be $317 billion in 2012 alone. This is several times the amount that would be saved from the entire universe of cuts in domestic discretionary program cuts that the President proposes for that year. It also is several times larger than the total domestic program reductions the President is seeking on the mandatory and discretionary sides of the budget combined.
Read the full report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities HERE

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