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President’s Budget Contains Large Cuts In Domestic Discretionary Programs

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The President’s budget proposes much larger cuts in domestic discretionary programs than has been generally understood. (“Discretionary” programs are those whose funding is determined by the 13 annual appropriations bills. The term excludes entitlements, such as Medicare or veterans’ pensions.) By 2009, funding for domestic discretionary programs would be cut $45.4 billion below the 2004 level, adjusted for inflation (i.e., below the Congressional Budget Office budget baseline). The large majority of domestic discretionary programs throughout the government would be cut, including popular programs that the Administration claims it is increasing based on its funding request for 2005. The cuts generally would start in years after 2005 and grow wider with each passing year.