From today's NYT:
Mr. Bush's spending and taxing proposals are a mass of missing information. The cost of keeping the military in Iraq and Afghanistan isn't included. Neither, as it turns out, are the usual projections of the long-term effects of proposals to cut $183 billion from domestic programs other than entitlements.
The administration's obfuscation is, however, being deciphered by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an independent watchdog organization. Specialists backtracked through tables of opaque data and deduced the following: Over five years, veterans' benefits would be cut 13 percent, or $10 billion. Despite all the political talk about energy research and alternate fuels, $4.4 billion would be cut from energy programs. Environmental spending, including for national parks, would be cut 22 percent, or $28 billion; housing, fuel, child care and nutrition programs for the poor and elderly would lose 13 percent, or $24 billion. Topping this surreal concoction is a 13 percent cut -- $53 billion -- in education and job programs by 2011.
Political realists have already declared the budget dead on arrival on Capitol Hill. That's not enough. The administration's assault on domestic programs should stand as a permanent reminder of the folly of the $285 billion in additional upper-bracket tax cuts the president and the Republican-controlled Congress are aiming for across the next five years. Despite the budget fictions, the damage from the tax-cut mania will haunt future generations.