Obama unveils $3.5 trillion budget: Here's where the money would be spent - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama unveils $3.5 trillion budget: Here's where the money would be spent

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WASHINGTON. - President Barack Obama has unveiled a $3.55 trillion spending plan for next year that would boost taxes on the wealthy and curtail Medicare to make way for a $634 billion down payment on universal health care.
     
In addition to sending Congress his budget for 2010, Obama on Thursday proposed a series of changes that would push spending to $3.94 trillion in the current year. That would result in a record deficit that Obama projects will hit $1.75 trillion, reflecting the massive spending being undertaken to battle a severe recession.
     
As part of the effort to end the crisis, the administration proposed boosting the deficit by an additional $250 billion this year, enough to support as much as $750 billion in increased spending under the government's financial rescue program.

Obama budget would slow Medicare, Medicaid growth

The government's massive health insurance programs for the elderly and poor would grow more slowly under President Barack Obama's proposed budget.
     
Obama wants to squeeze Medicaid and Medicare spending - including slimmer payments to private insurance plans - to help create a 10-year, $634 billion fund billed as a "down payment" on health care reform.
     
Obama's budget proposal released Thursday acknowledges that even more money will be needed to achieve health coverage for all, but doesn't say where it would come from.
     
Experts say that goal could cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years.
     
Overall spending for the Health and Human Services Department - including discretionary spending, Medicare and Medicaid would grow from $764 billion to $821 billion.

Obama would spend more to make college affordable

A large increase in education spending would make college more affordable under President Barack Obama's proposed budget.
     
His plan would tie the Pell Grant program to inflation for the first time since the grants began in 1973. The program would grow by more than 150 percent over the next 10 years.
     
Obama also seeks an end to government-guaranteed loans, an idea sure to upset the nation's lenders. Instead, the government would increase its own direct lending to students in an effort to protect them from turmoil in financial markets.
     
The spending proposal follows through on Obama's comments Tuesday to Congress, when he said he wants every child to be able to pursue some form of higher education.

Obama budget seeks more money for clean energy

Offshore oil drilling would become more expensive, but scientists pursuing clean energy could get a windfall under President Barack Obama's proposed budget.
     
The proposal imposes new excise taxes on oil and gas pumped offshore. And oil companies would have to pay a fee on drilling leases they own but are not using.
     
While the budget summary gives no specific numbers, it calls for "significant" spending boosts for energy research. It also offers money for solar, biomass, geothermal, wind and clean coal programs and modernizing the power grid.
     
The Energy Department's budget totals $26.3 billion, or $1.3 billion more than President George Bush proposed a year ago. Nearly two-thirds of the money goes for nuclear weapons activities.

Obama asks $130 billion for Iraq, Afghan wars next year

President Barack Obama says the true costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will no longer be "left off the books."
     
He says those costs are being included in the budget he's unveiling Thursday, which asks for more than $130 billion for the wars and some other military operations overseas next year. The
figure is on top of about $534 billion in other Defense Department costs.
     
For the current year, the Pentagon has asked for $141 billion for the wars.

LINK: Savings strategies for military families

Slight boost sought for homeland security in 2010

Air travelers would probably have to pay more in three years to have their shoes inspected at airports under a spending proposal from the Obama administration.
     
Starting in 2012, the airlines would cover most of the costs of passenger and baggage screening through increased fees, according to President Barack Obama's proposal for the 2010 spending year. These fees are generally passed on to travelers by the airlines.
     
The Homeland Security Department would see a 6 percent boost over what President George W. Bush sought last year.
     
Obama's proposal would bolster transportation security, add more Border Patrol agents, send money to state and local governments to hire intelligence analysts, and eliminate a maritime navigation system that Bush sought to enhance.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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