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Obama Stresses $17 Billion In Cuts Over Major Increase In Deficit

The White House today put out another level of detail for Obama's proposed $3.4 trillion budget. These outlines have already been passed by both the House and the Senate. The documents released today breakout the Total Obligation Authority (TOA) for the various parts of the Government. The documents are available at the White House web page here.

While the budget increases overal spending for next year by close to a trillion dollars compared to Bush's last budget, the President and his budget people stressed the fact that they proposed cutting $17 billion worth of programs. The budget has a $1.17 trillion deficit assuming revenue meets expectations. In 2009 due to the economic issues facing the nation and the world revenue has fallen below projections leading to higher deficits then planned when the budget was announced last year.

Over half of the $17 billion in cuts will come from to the military programs that Secretary Gates has recommended to cancel. There is no guarantee that Congress won't keep some of these going in one form or another which will lead to more spending then requested by Obama. There are other programs like the Homeland Security program to build automated scanners for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons for use in ports and entry ways into the country. While it is true that there have been problems with the development of this Congress might again have other ideas. There still remains a requirement for some sort of program like this and eventually it will have to be funded.

As with any budget there will be things that groups likes and dislikes about what is funded. Each Congressman and Senator also has his list. That is why when the final budget is approved it may end up being very different then what was proposed, although the total top line spending will remain very similar. There are criticisms of the AIDS/HIV spending from both the left and the right for instance.

The budget also includes the controversial green house gas reduction plan utilizing credits. This is actually key to funding a great deal of the health care reform. Several moderate Democratic Congressmen and Senators have objected to this plan as a large new tax. Even if they do not have enough votes with the Republicans to halt passage they will certainly make it harder to pass in the form proposed.

This is the second shot at the budget. Next week supposedly the detailed budget documents will be submitted to the Hill. These lay out funding by line item and are used to build the tables in the various Appropriation Bills. There will be even more reaction to this as the smaller programs will be detailed, and while programs may be small they are important to someone somewhere.

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