New Marine One Among Obama's Budget Cuts

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)


Even President Obama is taking a hit among the $17 billion in budget cuts he's proposing for the fiscal year that begins October 1st.

He proposes to terminate the program to build a new fleet of helicopters to serve as Marine One.

The White House says the VH-71 program is six years behind schedule and is plagued by cost overruns with more projected on the horizon.

Mr. Obama will make due with the helicopters now in service, even though many of them are decades old. Cost savings: $750 million.

The choppers are one of 121 programs the president is targeting for budget reductions or eliminations.

"We have to admit that there is a lot of money that's being spent inefficiently, ineffectively, and, in some cases, in ways that are actually pretty stunning," said the president in announcing the cutbacks.

There are reductions or terminations in programs for agriculture, education, missile defense, energy and transportation.

But Mr. Obama tried to pre-empt suggestions that his proposed budget savings are little more than a drop in the bucket. They amount to less than one half of one percent of his $3.5-trillion dollars in spending next year.

"Even by Washington standards," he said, "that should be considered real money."

"To put this in perspective, the $17 billion is more than enough savings to pay for a $2,500 tuition tax credit for millions of students, as well as a larger Pell grant, with enough money left over to pay for everything we do to pay for -- to protect the national parks. And this is just one aspect of the budget reforms and savings we're seeking."

Among the other budget cuts being proposed:


  • Eliminate funding for anthrax vaccine research. Savings: $8 million.

  • Terminate production of C-17 military cargo planes: Savings: $91 million.

  • End funding for Character Education Program: Savings: $12 million.

  • Terminate funding for Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Helicopter program. Savings: $144 million
  • Eliminate payments to cotton producers for cost of storage. Savings: $52 million in FY 2010.

  • End funding for "Even Start" early childhood education program. Savings: $66million - but funds to be redirected to other programs.

  • Terminate program to build the F-22 Raptor Fighter Aircraft. Savings: $2.9 billion.

  • End government contribution to the Harry Truman Scholarship Foundation. Savings: $1 million

  • Cancel refurbishment of Los Alamos Neutron Science Center: Savings: 19 million.

  • Terminate "Multiple Kill Vehicle" development program for missile defense.

  • Terminate National Institute for Literacy - blaming "minimal success." Savings: $6 million.

  • Cut "unjustified tax loopholes" that benefit oil and gas companies. Savings: $26 million over ten years but nothing next year.

  • Terminate second Airborne Laser prototype for missile defense. Savings $214 million.



Click here to see the White House's full list of proposed cuts (PDF)

Mr. Obama acknowledged that some people in and out of government will oppose his budget cuts, but one of them will be cheered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

At his urging, the president is eliminating funding for the Yucca Mountain Repository Program, long-opposed by Reid, who didn't want his state to become the nation's capital for nuclear waste..

But the budget still proposes to spend $197-million next year to "explore alternatives" for the storage of nuclear waste.

Anyone want it in their backyard?

More Coverage:

Obama Seeks $17B In Budget Cuts

Obama's Full Remarks

Obama Tells Journalists To Stress "Significant" Nature Of Budget Cuts

Morning Bulletin: Cuts Land With A Thud From The Media


(CBS)
Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/markknoller.
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    Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent.

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