Budget Blitz

Congresswoman Lois Capps lashed out at President Bush’s proposed $2.7 trillion spending plan, calling it “fiscally irresponsible” and “unrealistic.” The plan proposes big spending increases for the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security, but significant cuts for 141 federal programs. Capps faulted Bush for increasing the costs—in premiums and co-pays—shouldered by Medicare and Medicaid recipients at a time of other confusing Medicare changes, for divesting California of $3.1 billion over the next four years, and for allocating inadequate funds to dredge local harbors. She further criticized Bush’s budget for seriously understating the size of the deficit—now approaching $400 billion—because it doesn’t include the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Capps has strongly disagreed with Bush throughout his presidency, Santa Barbara liberal activists have increasingly pressured her to speak out more forcefully.

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