Daily Briefing, Part 1: The Budget Gets Spun

$2.57t budget sent to Congress. Bush: "Our priorities are winning the war on terror, protecting our homeland, growing our economy. It's a budget that focuses on results." Pelosi: "The president's budget is a hoax on the American people." [WP, NYT, WSJ, USAT, WT]

Congress has other ideas for budget -- and it isn't the first time. Economist: "It is ambitious, and if history is any guide, it's not going to happen." [WP, WP, WT]

Budget based on assumptions and omissions, including expectation that non-defense spending will be stable over next five years. [NYT]

Budget downplays long-term costs, says economist: "There's a lot being swept under the rug from a longer-run standpoint. . . And people really aren't looking at the scary arithmetic in the longer term." [WSJ]

So much, much more follows...

Budget designed to show conservatives, economists, traders, and world markets that Bush is serious about deficit. Scholar: "I don't think this approach will look very credible. . . The message here is that the underlying trend, contrary to the administration's assertions, is a steady increase in the deficit." [NYT]

Budget pressures lawmakers to enact cost-cutting. [WSJ, USAT]

Rumsfeld's budget proposal based on reform of Defense Department; 5% jump in spending from last year. [WSJ, NYT, WT]

FBI wins 11% budget increase; spending for Amtrak nearly eliminated. [NYT, NYT]

Budget proposes 1% reduction for Education Department, 2% cut for Energy Department. [NYT, NYT]

White House looks to skim staff. [NYT]

Cultural groups and museums spared ax. [WP]

Assistance for poor and veterans sliced. [NYT, NYT]

Budget director Bolten: "I actually enter into this with a happy spirit." [WP]


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