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Highlights of Bush's proposed budget

WASHINGTON—Highlights of President Bush's proposed fiscal 2008 budget:

_$2.9 trillion total, a 4.2 percent increase over this year.

_$93.4 billion more for war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan in fiscal 2007; another $141.7 billion for war costs in fiscal 2008. To date Congress has enacted $426.8 billion for war costs. This request would drive the total to $661.9 billion through fiscal 2008. Another $50 billion is marked as a placeholder for fiscal 2009.

_$624.6 billion for defense.

_$36.6 billion for medical care for U.S. veterans, up 83 percent since 2001. Includes $3 billion for improved mental health services.

_Making his first-term tax reductions permanent, costing the Treasury $1.6 trillion over 10 years.

_Cutting $66 billion from projected Medicare costs over five years by slowing the growth of payments to health-care providers and charging wealthy beneficiaries higher premiums. Medicare spending still would grow at a 6.7 percent annual rate rather than a now-projected 7.4 percent annual rate.

_Cutting projected Medicaid spending by $25 billion over five years.

_Eliminating or sharply reducing funding for 141 other programs to save $12 billion over five years.

_Deficits of $239 billion in fiscal 2008, down from $244 billion this year and $248 billion in 2006.

_Balancing the budget by fiscal 2012.

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(c) 2007, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

GRAPHICS (from MCT Graphics, 202-383-6064): 20070205 BUDGET overview, 20070205 BUDGET defense, 20070205 BUDGET debt, 20070205 BUDGET war

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