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Daily Briefing: Prez Offers Global Welfare Plan

Bush's budget to be announced today: 0.7% proposed cut in domestic spending; proposed consolidations and squeezes affect 150 programs; also, screw Amtrak! Pentagon to receive extra $19 billion, excluding war costs. But wait: foreign ops and development pricetag up by 17%?! Someone's been toking up with Bob Geldof again... [WP, WSJ, NYT, WT]


Cheney says personal retirement accounts could cost trillions. [WP]

White House wants to cut federal farm subsidies by $6b over 10 years. [WSJ]

Deficit tests nerves of many Republicans; majorities of voters surveyed disapprove of Bush's handing of deficit. [WP]

Analysts unimpressed by budget maneuvers: "What's unrealistic is that they are trying to fund a government with today's demands on a 1950's stream of revenue." [NYT]

Brownstein: "Is it already time for the White House to unveil Plan B on Social Security?" [LAT]

Bush wants to trim Medicaid costs. [WSJ]

Conservative House Republicans pledge unity on social and economic issues. [WP]

Rice accurately predicts Super Bowl outcome; she wakes early, exercises often, "obsessively eats light," and likes the press. [NYT]

Rice befriends Europe, speaks of challenges facing Middle East. [WSJ, USAT]

On the airwaves, conservative groups promoting Social Security plan vie with AARP, unions, and liberals. [USAT]

Kerry settles in to swiping Bush from the sidelines. [WT]

Report from commission on intelligence due next month. [WP]

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