How Would You Cut The Federal Budget?

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President George Bush has called for a new budget that is the most ambitious that any president has proposed in years. He wants to cut taxes and increase spending for the military and domestic security. A balanced budget or a smaller government is no longer an important goal. A few interest groups [anti-tax, pro-spending, anti-regulation and pro-environment] reviewed the budget line by line and gave their suggestions.

The Bush administration has proposed to spend $1.5 billion over a five-year period to develop the hydrogen-powered car. The Clinton administration before that spent more than $1 billion to create hybrid (gas and electric) cars. But companies like Honda and Toyota have brought the cars to the market even before the Big Three produced any. The Export-Import Bank gives about $10 billion in loans and loan guarantees to corporations every year to finance their foreign projects, for example, Enron was one of their biggest clients. The Agriculture Department spends about $109 million to promote the products of companies like Sunkist, the Watermelon Promotion Board and the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. There would also be a 6% increase in spending on highways, for example the Bud Shuster Highway in Pennsylvania.

The tax exemption for dividends was $364 billion, and only the top 1% of taxpayers would get most of the tax breaks. Only a few people can afford to put in $60,000 each year into the tax-sheltered accounts can afford the new tax-free savings account. President Bush also agreed to remove the 2001 income and estate tax cuts after 2010 (because they cost too much), and wants to extend the cuts to $231 billion a year.

The power marketing administrations were created to bring cheap electricity to the rural areas, and the agencies crowd out the private companies, but their total gross budget would rise 5%. Then Amtrak began in 1971 (

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