"Deep Cuts" in Bush's $2.9 Trillion Budget?

The Times has made an annual tradition of finding mostly nonexistent "deep cuts" in Bush's "austere" multi-trillion dollar budget proposals.

What deep cuts in Bush's budget? Reporter Steven Weisman saw some in Wednesday's "Cabinet Members Go to Congress to Push the Budget."

"One day after the Bush administration proposed deep cuts in domestic spending, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. told Democratic critics in Congress on Tuesday that the proposals for Medicare and Social Security were 'a starting point for a discussion' and could be revised."

The Times has made something of an annual tradition of finding nonexistent "deep cuts" in Bush's "austere" multi-trillion dollar budget proposals.

Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg noted yesterdaythat Bush put forward a $2.9 trillion budget (the biggest ever) that will increase overall government spending by 4.2% over the year before.

But Stolberg also used a loaded, Democratic choice of word to describe Bush's plans to allow workers to have choice in how to invest their Social Security taxes: "As he has in years past, Mr. Bush uses the budget to challenge Democrats to rein in the growth of the government's biggest entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The 2008 proposal includes plans to divert payroll taxes from Social Security into private accounts, a plan that went nowhere in the past, even when Republicans ran Capitol Hill."