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Posted by on Feb 26, 2009 in Economy | 0 comments

Drilling Down on the Budget

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Today, in “Obama Plans Major Shifts in Spending” the New York Times reports that:

President Obama’s new budget blueprint estimates a stunning deficit of $1.75 trillion for the current fiscal year, which began five months ago, then lays out a wrenching change of course as he seeks to finance his own priorities while stanching the flow of red ink.

Then, in a set of articles, “Drilling Down on the Budget,”the Times provides more details on such “drilling down” in the areas of the Banking Bailout, Welfare, Student Loans, Military, Tax Cuts, Energy and Agriculture.

Under the “Military” heading, the Times provides a good preview of things to come:

While President Obama’s budget outline requests a small increase in basic military spending, to $534 billion, the administration has made it clear that it intends to shift some money from huge cold war-style weapons systems to smaller programs focused on fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and new threats to the nation’s cybersecurity

Finally, on the subject we have been covering on TMV, the upcoming F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft decision, the Times has this to say:

Mr. McAleese [who advises companies that produce weapons,] also said a compromise could be struck over the future of one of the Pentagon’s marquee programs — the F-22, the world’s most expensive fighter jet. Now that the Air Force has publicly dropped its requirement for 381 of the planes, Mr. McAleese and other analysts say the president could approve up to 60 more of the planes — at a cost of $9 billion to $11 billion — over the next three years as a hedge against possible rivals like China. That would bring the total number of F-22’s to 243.

But after Mr. Obama said in a speech this week that “we’re not paying for cold war-era weapons we don’t use,” Winslow T. Wheeler, another military analyst, said that “could mean bad news for the F-22.”

Stay tuned

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