Friday, May 8, 2009
"What we're trying to do is reorient government activity toward things that work," said White House Budget Director Peter Orszag.
• Ending $26 billion in oil and gas industry tax breaks, which he called "unjustifiable loopholes" in the tax system that other industries do not get.
• Slashing almost in half a benefits program for the families of slain police and safety officers from $110 million to $60 million.
• Eliminating federal support for a $35 million-a-year radio-based marine navigation system rendered obsolete by the satellite-based Global Positioning System.
• Doing away with a $142 million program to help states pay to clean up abandoned mines.
• Abolishing an Education Department attache's post in Paris, at a savings of $632,000 per year.
• Plowing $2 billion more into merit-based teacher pay to help failing schools turn around. He would spend $370 million on a successor to the Reading First literacy program, a key element of Bush's No Child Left Behind law.
• Spending an additional $584 million for pandemic flu efforts, on top of the $1.5 billion in emergency money for 2009 that he asked Congress for in the wake of the swine flu outbreak.
• Increasing child nutrition programs by $1 billion, partly to pay for a 20 percent increase in the number of food inspectors.
• Setting up a $1 billion program to develop or rehabilitate housing for the poor.
Obama proposed more money for the Labor Department to hire about 1,000 new employees, including 670 new investigators and other staffers to enforce safety, health, minimum wage, overtime and other laws.
"Fellow Democrats may well reject some of those revisions, including Obama's proposal to stop paying states and counties that keep illegal immigrants in their jails. He also proposed doing away with Even Start, a $66 million program to promote child literacy that the administration argues is not as effective as other early-childhood education programs like Head Start.
Bush had sought to end both programs — only to be rebuffed by the Democratic Congress.
Despite redoubling its efforts to portray itself as tough on waste and spending, the administration and Congress have taken the nation on a steady course of higher federal spending. In rapid succession has come passage of a $787 billion economic recovery bill, a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill and Congress' $3.4 trillion budget for next year, which calls for increases of almost 10 percent over current funding for non-defense agency budgets.
Even as Obama spoke, a key House panel was adding about $12 billion to his war-spending request.
Many items in the budget are about more than money.
It affirms the administration's prohibition on so-called warrantless wiretapping — the Bush administration electronic surveillance program.
And it would provide $197 million to find an alternative to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project in Nevada, another setback to the nuclear power industry from the administration — but a welcome gesture to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has long sought to block the project 90 miles from Las Vegas.
Obama is claiming savings from eliminating a host of accounts typically earmarked by members of Congress such as a $10 million West Virginia highway project obtained by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and $15 million obtained by Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for diesel emissions reduction grants.
In fact, some of the cuts, like terminating production of C-17 cargo aircraft and phasing out direct payments to farmers with sales exceeding $500,000 annually, have already been rejected by Obama's allies in Congress.
About half the budget savings would come from an effort by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to curb military programs, including ending production of the F-22 fighter and killing a much-maligned replacement helicopter fleet for the president that's way over budget.
Unbelievable but ACORN is getting billions of taxpayer money .Didn't Barry want to create more jobs with roadway construction and he's eliminating 10 million for Virgina's highway project .Hes says one thing and does another. He cutting 50 million for the families of slain police officers men & women who made the ultimate sacrifice