President George W. Bush's new budget will contain tight spending controls across a wide swath of government programs as a way of getting the deficit under control, Treasury Secretary John Snow said Tuesday. Snow said the budget that the administration will present to Congress in early February will continue to make progress on the president's pledge to cut the deficit in half as a percentage of the overall economy by 2009.
It will accomplish that by containing government spending while maintaining Bush's other goal of making permanent his first-term tax cuts, which are all due to expire at the end of 2010. To achieve the twin goals of reducing the deficit and maintaining the tax cuts, Bush's proposed budget for 2007 will show the administration "pressing awfully hard to control spending," Snow said in an interview with a small group of reporters.
"This will call for sacrifices, no doubt about it," Snow said. The new budget, which would cover the budget year that begins next Oct. 1, is expected to contain tight limits on non-security spending. The budget deficit for 2005 fell to $319 billion (Ђ264.4 billion), still the third-highest on record, after an all-time high, in dollar terms, of $413 billion in 2004.
Many economists are forecasting that the deficit for the current budget year will again rise above $400 billion (Ђ331.5 billion), inflated by government spending on reconstruction efforts after the Gulf Coast hurricanes, reports the AP. N.U.