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Budget Week February 23, 2009

Posted by dglaudemans in News.
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orszag2This week is being termed “budget week” around circles in Washington as President Obama hosts a fiscal responsibility summit today, addresses a joint session of Congress tomorrow outlining his budget proposals, and delivers his FY 2010 budget outline on Thursday. In addition, the House will pass an omnibus FY 2009 appropriation on Wednesday. Beneath the headlines on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reform and their implications for reducing the federal deficit, the debate over the future of the defense budget is brewing. In fact, its boiling at this point with analysts speculating about F-22s and the Future Combat System and the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plans. While the details are being hashed out now between OMB and the Pentagon, the topline figure for the DOD will be released on Thursday and will likely be around the $537 billion mark. A more detailed analysis of this number and what it means can be found here, but the simple analysis is that $537 billion is an increase over the FY 2009 budget but is a slower growth rate than in the previous eight years. This figure is a strong signal from the Obama Administration on how it views the defense budget and potential cuts in the future.

On the other side of the river, the international affairs budget topline figure will also be released on Thursday. While the 150 budget is not as talked about as the defense budget (granted the DOD budget is about 17 times as large as the entire international affairs budget), that figure will also be a strong indication of where the Obama Administration intends to move foreign policy.

This week is indeed “budget week” in Washington, but the real battles – at least in foreign policy and national security circles – will surface when the Administration’s detailed FY 2010 budget is released in April. Until then, Washington will have to suffice with just topline figures and a likely intractable debate over deficit spending, Social Security, and Medicare and Medicaid reform.



1. Medicaid Reform CareSource - April 18, 2010

Budget week couldn’t be more important. I hope Obama does the right things for the country.

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