November 28, 2004

FROM D.O.A. TO LAW IN TWELVE EASY MONTHS:

No Deficit of Courage: Congress and the president are getting spending under control. (JOSHUA BOLTEN, November 27, 2004, Wall Street Journal)

With Congress's completion of its work on the 2005 budget this week, President Bush and congressional leaders achieved a significant victory in the battle for spending discipline in Washington.

When the president released his Fiscal 2005 Budget in February calling for a disciplined budget, some politicians and pundits dismissed it as "dead on arrival." They warned that its spending limits could not be met or would require devastating reductions in key priorities. They were wrong.

To the credit of key leaders, Congress stayed within budget limits and met key priorities. While the appropriations bills are not perfect, they honor the goals President Bush set last February: Overall discretionary spending in Fiscal 2005 will rise only 4%, the same as the average increase in American family income. The budget also provides substantial increases in funding for essential defense and homeland security needs.

Just as the president proposed, discretionary spending for nonsecurity programs will rise only about 1%, which is half the rate of inflation and the lowest rate of growth since the Republicans first took control of Congress in the mid-1990s.

This is the fourth consecutive year that growth in such spending has declined, down from 15% growth in the last budget year of the previous Administration. And even within this year's restrained budget, the Congress managed to fund important priorities, such as expansions in community health center services, the president's Community Colleges initiative, and an ambitious plan to fight the global AIDS crisis.


In addition, the war on terror is being won so quickly that the security spending can begin to be gutted again a couple years from now, rendering a mini peace dividend.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 28, 2004 12:15 AM
Comments

Until we return to zero-based budgeting, amend the Constitution to provide for a line-item vetom, and the President directly confronts the hardcore porkbarrelers like Byrd and Stevens on spending issues, we will get nowhere on budgetary control.

Posted by: Bart at November 28, 2004 6:21 AM

Until we return to zero-based budgeting, amend the Constitution to provide for a line-item veto, and the President directly confronts the hardcore porkbarrelers like Byrd and Stevens on spending issues, we will get nowhere on budgetary control.

Posted by: Bart at November 28, 2004 6:21 AM

Until we return to zero-based budgeting, amend the Constitution to provide for a line-item veto, and the President directly confronts the hardcore porkbarrelers like Byrd and Stevens on spending issues, we will get nowhere on budgetary control.

Posted by: Bart at November 28, 2004 6:22 AM
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