The day after President George W. Bush sends his first full budget to Congress, a panel of Brookings scholars will analyze the White House spending proposal and its likely fate in a divided Congress.
With government spending increased to finance the war against terrorism and homeland defense, and revenue reduced by the recession and tax cuts, the federal budget will again be in deficit. This has set off a number of fierce political battles over how scarce resources should be allocated:
– Spending for military action and homeland defense vs. spending for social programs.
– More tax cuts vs. more money to help those hurt by recession.
– Allocating tax relief between higher income earners and lower income earners.
– Deciding whether the economy is recovering on its own, or needs further stimulus.
The president’s new budget blueprint will set off a national debate on these and other contentious issues. And the jockeying over spending and taxing priorities will be carried out with full knowledge that the outcome will affect the 2002 congressional elections.
Analyzing the Bush budget and the upcoming budget debate will be three experts with previous government experience dealing with budget and economic issues.