Bush seeks record $245bn for war

Bush looks to curb health funding and finance record spend on Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Bush said proposed increases in defence costs would come at the expense of domestic spending [AFP]
    Record spending
     
    But the New York Times said budget documents show the actual figure is more than $100bn.
     
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    The budget proposal totals $170bn for the current fiscal year, including $70bn that congress has already approved, making it the highest spending level to date for the military campaigns.
     
    Under the proposal, wealthier senior citizens would have to pay more for prescription drugs and the services of doctors under the Medicare system, The Washington Post and New York Times reported, citing a senior administration official and budget documents.
     
    Bush's proposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid far surpass what he or any other US president have sought before, the New York Times reports.
     
    The Washington Post said the president would seek an increase of more than 10 per cent for Pentagon spending, increasing its budget to $481bn.
     
    Non-military areas would receive a one per cent increase in spending for the fiscal year in 2008, an administration official told Reuters.
     
    The sum amounts to a decrease in many US domestic programmes after accounting for inflation, which is running at about 2.5 per cent.
     
    'Fiscally reckless'
     
    Bush said: "Controlling spending also requires us to address the unsustainable growth of entitlement programmes such as social security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    "Spending for these programmes is growing faster than inflation, faster than our economy, and faster than our ability to pay for it."

    The proposal will be the first budget that Bush has submitted to a congress controlled by rival Democrats.
     
    Many Democrats have called Bush "fiscally reckless" and say his huge domestic tax cuts are unaffordable and favour the wealthy.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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