President Bush has submitted a $3.1 trillion budget for next year, which sounds like a lot of money. But the problem is not simply with the spectacular total, the highest ever; it's that he projects a $410 billion deficit in 2008 and $407 billion in 2009, indicating that the government just cannot live within its means. Bush's 2009 budget, in fact, calls for a 6 percent spending increase over 2008, which won't sit well even with fellow conservatives who are upset that the administration has steered away from fiscal discipline.
Bush has his defense. "Our top priority is to defend our country," he says, noting that his budget includes an 8.2 percent increase in security- and defense-related spending. He also proposed a $100 billion economic stimulus package to "put money in the hands of consumers" and billions more in tax incentives to encourage business investment.