The Budget Message of the President
Over the previous four years, we have acted to restore economic growth, win the War on Terror, protect the homeland, improve our schools, rally the armies of compassion, and promote ownership. The 2006 Budget will help America continue to meet these goals. In order to sustain our economic expansion, we must continue pro-growth policies and enforce even greater spending restraint across the Federal Government. By holding Federal programs to a firm test of accountability and focusing our resources on top priorities, we are taking the steps necessary to achieve our deficit reduction goals.
Our Nation's most critical challenge since September 11, 2001, has been to protect the American people by fighting and winning the War on Terror. Overseas and at home, our troops and homeland security officials are receiving the funding needed to protect our homeland, bring terrorists to justice, eliminate terrorist safe havens and training camps, and shut down their financing.
In Afghanistan and Iraq, we are helping establish democratic institutions. Together with our coalition partners, we are helping the Afghan and Iraqi people build schools, establish the rule of law, create functioning economies, and protect basic human rights. And while the work is dangerous and difficult, America's efforts are helping promote societies that will serve as beacons of freedom in the Middle East. Free nations are peaceful nations and are far less likely to produce the kind of terrorism that reached our shores just over three years ago.
To ensure our security at home, the 2006 Budget increases funding for anti-terrorism investigations; border security; airport and seaport security; nuclear and radiological detection systems and countermeasures; and improved security for our food supply and drinking water.
This Budget also promotes economic growth and opportunity. We must ensure that America remains the best place in the world to do business by keeping taxes low, promoting new trade agreements with other nations, and protecting American businesses from litigation abuse and overregulation. To make sure the entrepreneurial spirit remains strong, the Budget includes important initiatives to help American businesses and families cope with the rising cost of health care. This Budget funds important reforms in our schools, and promotes homeownership in our communities. In addition, the 2006 Budget supports the development of technology and innovation throughout our economy.
The 2006 Budget also affirms the values of our caring society. It promotes programs that are effectively providing assistance to the most vulnerable among us. We are launching innovative programs such as Cover the Kids, which will expand health insurance coverage for needy children. We are funding global initiatives with unprecedented resources to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic, respond to natural disasters, and provide humanitarian relief to those in need. The 2006 Budget continues to support domestic programs and policies that fight drug addiction and homelessness and promote strong families and lives of independence. And in all our efforts, we will continue to build working relationships with community organizations, including faith-based organizations, which are doing so much to bring hope to Americans.
In every program, and in every agency, we are measuring success not by good intentions, or by dollars spent, but rather by results achieved. This Budget takes a hard look at programs that have not succeeded or shown progress despite multiple opportunities to do so. My Administration is pressing for reforms so that every program will achieve its intended results. And where circumstances warrant, the 2006 Budget recommends significant spending reductions or outright elimination of programs that are falling short.
This Budget builds on the spending restraint we have achieved, and will improve the process by which the Congress and the Administration work together to produce a budget that remains within sensible spending limits. In every year of my Administration, we have brought down the growth in non-security related discretionary spending. This year, I propose to go further and reduce this category of spending by about one percent, and to hold the growth in overall discretionary spending, including defense and homeland security spending, to less than the rate of inflation. I look forward to working closely with the Congress to achieve these reductions and reforms. By doing so, we will remain on track to meet our goal to cut the deficit in half by 2009.
Our greatest fiscal challenges are created by the long-term unfunded promises of our entitlement programs. I will be working with the Congress to develop a Social Security reform plan that strengthens Social Security for future generations, protects the benefits of today's retirees and near-retirees, and provides ownership, choice, and the opportunity for today's young workers to build a nest egg for their retirement.
In the past four years, America has faced many challenges, both overseas and at home. We have overcome these challenges not simply with our financial resources, but with the qualities that have always made America great: creativity, resolve, and a caring spirit. America has vast resources, but no resource is as abundant as the strength of the American people. It is this strength that will help us to continue to prosper and meet any challenge that lies before us.
GEORGE W. BUSH
February 7, 2005
George W. Bush, The Budget Message of the President Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/300309