"It's a budget that protects taxpayers, protects children, protects our surplus," Bush said, putting the administration's stamp on the budget in a meeting with the Cabinet Monday morning.
"It represents compassionate conservatism. It's a budget that sets priorities. It's a budget that recognizes there are some good programs here in Washington that need to be funded."
The budget proposal follows the outlines Bush has given on his multi-state tours promoting his plan over the past six weeks. It reflects his commitment to moderate growth in government while funding his priorities: education, Medicare changes, defense spending and tax relief, while generating a $231 billion budget surplus in 2002.
It also places $1 trillion in a contingency fund as an insurance policy against tough times or in the event more money is needed later for Medicare, farmers or the military. And the plan allocates a projected $5.6 trillion surplus over 10 years, saving $2.6 trillion for Social Security.
"Washington's known for its pork," Bush said. "This budget funds our needs without the fat. It also represents a new way of doing business in Washington and a new way of thinking. The budget puts the taxpayers first, and that's exactly where they belong."
Bush said the budget will provide a $21 million increase for food safety programs, a $1 billion increase for Pell education grants for poor students, and a $350 million increase for child care. It also provides $67 million for a mentoring program.
Bush said that to fight crime, the budget will set aside $87 million for "front-line" prosecutors and $75 million for a gun safety program directed at children.
"It fights corporate subsidies. It eliminates thousands of one-time earmark projects," Bush said.
The administration says the plan slows the growth in discretionary spending to 4 percent, an increase of $26 billion over 2001.
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