It’s a budget that is a lean budget. People on both sides of the aisle have called upon the administration to submit a budget that helps meet our obligations of — our goal of reducing the deficit in half over a five-year period, and this budget does just that. Discretionary spending is — will increase at a rate less than inflation.
It takes a tough man to hold the line on government spending. And by making all of those tough decisions on non-defense, non-homeland security (NDNHS) discretionary spending, Bush will take a major bite out of the budget deficit. Remember, all of that NDNHS discretionary spending constitues over $390bn of federal spending annually. Even though that will be only about 16% of total federal spending in 2005 (which will total $2,479bn), taking a tough stand on NDNHS discretionary spending clearly demonstrates the budgetary leadership that we’ve come to expect from our president.
The results of Bush’s budgetary fortitude? Thanks to the tough real cuts to NDNHS discretionary spending that Bush is proposing, such spending will actually fall by $2.2bn this year (assuming that Congress can be as tough as Bush is). On the other hand, if Bush had allowed the White House to craft a weak, spendthrift budget that allowed NDNHS discretionary spending to grow at the rate of inflation, such spending would have grown by $11bn this year – a net difference of over $13bn dollars!
What does that mean? It means that if Bush had not had the strength to mercilessly cut NDNHS discretionary spending, the budget deficit for this year would have been a whopping $403bn instead of the projected modest $390bn.
With such budget strictness emanating from Bush, we can rest easy about the budget deficit. At this rate, I’m sure that the budget deficit stands a pretty good chance of being completely eliminated sometime in the next 50 years. No, maybe not in our lifetimes, but at least in our childrens’ or grandchildrens’ lifetimes. Who could ask for more?