Tags: Bush | Unveils | $2.12 | Trillion | Budget

Bush Unveils $2.12 Trillion Budget

Monday, 04 February 2002 12:00 AM

"The budget for 2003 is much more than a tabulation of numbers," the president said in his message to Congress. "It is a plan to fight a war we did not seek, but a war we are determined to win."

The president said that by "curtailing unsuccessful programs and moderating the growth of spending in the rest of government," the government can "well afford" to fight terrorism and meet huge domestic commitments.

The budget, in four volumes totaling 5 1/4 inches with the American flag on the covers, proposed $2.12 trillion in spending in 2003, an increase of 3.4 percent from this year's projected $2.05 trillion budget.

The war and the recession returned the U.S. government to deficit spending for the first time in four years, resulting in a $106 billion deficit for 2002 and predictions of an $80 billion deficit in 2003.

The Bush administration projects a bullish 3.8 percent growth rate in the gross domestic product, which includes all goods and services sold in the United States, in 2003, and 0.7 percent growth for 2002.

Bush proposed a $379 billion defense budget. That is a $48 billion - 12 percent - increase over 2002, which called for major expenditures in unmanned aircraft and precision munitions of the kind that were so effective in Afghanistan, pay raises for the nearly 2.3 million members of the armed forces and aid for nations that join the United States in the war on terrorism.

The defense budget includes $7.8 billion for the president's controversial missile defense program and a plan for reorganizing the Defense Department.

Bush proposed spending $38 billion on homeland security, an $18 billion increase over 2002. The budget proposes $5.9 billion for improvements in the public health system as a defense against bioterrorism, new funds for border security and $4.8 billion for baggage screening and an air marshal's program.

The president again is asking for an economic stimulus package. His first proposal was not brought to a vote in the Senate last year. Several senators have said recent economic improvements might make it unnecessary.

Bush seeks $190 billion over 10 years for changes to Medicare. The Bush administration estimates 77 million Americans will be in Medicare by 2030.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The budget for 2003 is much more than a tabulation of numbers, the president said in his message to Congress. It is a plan to fight a war we did not seek, but a war we are determined to win. The president said that by curtailing unsuccessful programs and moderating...
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Monday, 04 February 2002 12:00 AM
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