Bush’s budget: Cut domestic spending to fund Iraq war


President George W. Bush is expected on Monday to estimate the costs for the Iraq war at nearly $300 billion over the next 2 1/2 years and propose limiting domestic spending for fiscal year 2008.

The new budget, which also includes a 10.5 percent increase for other military spending, is the first he will submit to the Democratic-controlled Congress. It will be released at 10 a.m./1500 GMT

A fight is looming over domestic priorities, and Democrats say they are braced for “sticker shock” on the Iraq estimate, which comes as Bush faces criticism over his plan to send in more troops.

As details of the budget spilled out over the weekend, some Democrats accused Bush of fiscal irresponsibility for seeking to make his tax cuts permanent while projecting huge costs for Iraq. Some expressed worry that the price tag for the war could end up being even higher than Bush has estimated.

“As is typical of this administration, this will be a budget that conceals more than it reveals,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Kent Conrad told Reuters in an interview.

The North Dakota Democrat said Bush’s fiscal policies were pushing the country “off a cliff and into a chasm of debt.”

White House budget director Rob Portman said the budget estimates on Iraq were “prudent” and insisted Bush would be able to reach his goal of erasing the budget deficit by 2012.

“Going forward, the president has laid out not only declining deficits every year, but a balanced budget within five years,” Portman told CNN.


He confirmed Bush would ask Congress for $100 billion more for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for fiscal year 2007, which ends in September, and $145 billion for 2008. He will also pencil in a forecast of $50 billion for 2009 but include no war projections beyond that year.

The war spending for 2007 will mark the highest annual level since the invasion of Iraq nearly four years ago. The total for this year of $170 billion includes the $100 billion request and $70 billion that Congress already appropriated.

The military has told the White House it needs billions of dollars to replace tanks, artillery and other weapons used in the Iraq war. Those costs will be included in the 2007 and 2008 Iraq war requests.

An administration official who has been briefed on the budget said Bush will propose a 10.5 percent rise in the Pentagon’s regular budget to $481 billion in 2008.

The spending plan totaling $2.9 trillion would hold growth in domestic discretionary spending to 1 percent, said the official, who was contacted by Reuters and spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt Bush’s announcement.

Brian Riedl, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said that, politically, Bush has little to lose and much to gain from a confrontation with Democrats over domestic spending.

Bush will try to turn the tables on Democrats who have attacked his fiscal stewardship and shore up support from Republicans who view him as a big spender, Riedl said.

“The president can draw a line on discretionary spending and refuse to sign a spending bill that is above his stated level,” Riedl said. “He can enforce that top-line number through the use of his veto.”

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited


  1. Ray

    When I was a kid, we didn’t have television untill 1956. On the weekends our family would often times drive over and see Gramps and Gramma for the day. One weekend it was my dads folks, the next, my moms folks and I remember hanging out listening to them talk about the same stuff ( politics ) as us on this forum do. Dad and Gramps would debate and discuss what Eisenhower was doing or saying and they would complain about troops being in Korea and so on and so forth. I was five or six, but ya know, I loved those times. The sincerity in those mens voices and the true honest patriotism was riviting even for this snot nosed kid that really didn’t have a clue what it was about, it was just the emotion and expression that those men had about this country. Dad lied about his age and joined the navy two days after pearl harbor and fought in the south pacific for the duration. He went to war at fifteen years old. His greatest moment was runing a landing craft in the invasion of Leyte Island. He was on the beach when McArthur made his big return to claim the victory. You all have seen the old newsreel where McArthur with his pipe and sunglasses walks knee deep in water upon the beach and all the sailors and soldiers are waving and smiling. It was a grand photo op. Dad said that the landing craft brought big mac right up on dry sand, but that was not enough showmanship, so the skipper backed out and dropped the front in shallow water so McCarthur could slosh to the beach and of course look more gallant on the big screen. Dad said it was comical.

    Sorry about the ramblin on, I just am so homesick for the america I once knew. The pride of being an american in those days was overwhelming at times, and I was just a kid, but I understood what liberty and freedom really meant. And what people my parents age paid for it, so this generation could live in freedom and pursue that american dream.

    Im pushing 60 and I have had a good life. Never got rich, never been hungry. Served my country, got lucky and still in one piece. Married my highschool sweetheart and now I,m a grandpa. I wish to God, that my grandson could have the life that I was fortunate to have back in the fifties.

    Those bastards that have stolen our government and plan to destroy our way of life and my grandsons future will rot in hell for eternity. If I don’t believe that with all my heart, then there is nothing to live for. Dam them to bloody hell, the traitor sons a bitches. Come on america, wake up and remember what we stand and fight for.

    The bastards won’t take my weapon or give me some goddam number, F%&ck them and the horse they rode in on. Go to hell Bush!

  2. Americanfirst

    The media is in on “it.”


    It’s good cop/bad cop…

    they’re ALL cops!

    (sorry for the reference, but you know what is meant)

    There is NO, ZERO, NADA difference….only the ILLUSION of a difference!

    Once this reality is grasped…you realize they ALL need to be replaced.

  3. Doreen McCabe


    I too have spent much time on the internet and reading books about our foreign policy/true history, especially since the 2000 election. At that moment when Bush was handed the presidency in 2000, I knew something was very wrong and we were in deep trouble. (Not to say that I didn’t know that we had serious problems before that though.) It was at that time too that I found FSTV-Democracy Now, Keynote Speakers, etc., and Link TV (Dish Network Channels 9415 and 9410). They have been instrumental in giving me countless resources in my quest for the truth, as well as real news in the real world. The media in this country has betrayed the people. If they would tell the truth about the state of the economy, healthcare, housing, education, and the “reality shows” would be well just that, reality, maybe we might have a fighting chance to truly change our nations course. Unfortunately though the Corporations/Government know that an informed public is a dangerous thing and would prefer to control the sheep. I too am afraid that we have lost our way but what is worse is that we seem not to care. These are very scary/dangerous times.

  4. Bill Jonke

    Bush is insane; please, somebody commit him!

    This is really getting ridiculous, and it Congress doesn’t lower the boom soon, we as American citizens are all toast, whether by war in Iraq or by unnecessary medical deaths, thanks to this 60 year old imbecile we’re forced to call our president.

  5. Let’s rebuild our own country first. Zero interest bonds to rebuild our own infrastructure and employ Americans at living wages. It would benefit the USA and then we could help others in more positive ways other than blasting back to the stone age to free their women from their birkas (sp?).