Apparently Bush wants to go down in American history as the warmonger. He wants to go out with a bang. It also means that the neocons have him under their spell. Let's see if the feckless Democratic controlled Congress will go along. Will they give us more bullets and less butter, so that they can go into the election in November looking tough on national defense. The American people be damned:
As Congress and the public focus on more than $600 billion already approved in supplemental budgets to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for counterterrorism operations, the Bush administration has with little notice approached a landmark in military spending.
The Pentagon on Monday will unveil its proposed 2009 budget of $515.4 billion. If it is approved in full, annual military spending, when adjusted for inflation, will have reached its highest level since World War II.
That new Defense Department budget proposal, which is to pay for the standard operations of the Pentagon and the military but does not include supplemental spending on the war efforts or on nuclear weapons, is an increase in real terms of about 5 percent over this year.
Overall since coming to office, the administration has increased baseline military spending by 30 percent, a figure sure to be noted in coming budget battles as the American economy seems headed downward and government social spending is strained, especially by health-care costs.
Let them eat cake:
President Bush today unveiled a tough-minded, $3 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2009 that would slice $14.2 billion from the growth of federal health care programs, eliminate scores of programs and virtually freeze domestic spending--but would still record a $407 billion budget deficit.
[...]"What he is proposing to do would dismantle after-school programs," said Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance.
Under the plan, a $301 million program that trains 4,700 pediatricians and pediatric sub-specialists at children's teaching hospitals also would be eliminated, at a time when pediatric sub-specialties, such as rheumatology and pulmonology, face critical shortages.
"The request to eliminate funding to train the doctors that care for kids comes on the heels of the president's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program," said Lawrence McAndrews, president and CEO of the National Association of Children's Hospitals. "I don't think the president could be any clearer about his intentions towards children's health care. 'Wrong' doesn't begin to describe his actions."