Feb 26 President Barack Obama's first budget is
his clearest opportunity to date to put U.S. money where his
mouth is by establishing priorities for his new
The proposals will be submitted to the U.S. Congress, which
will put its own stamp on the budget. [nN26448503]
Here are some winners and losers in the draft submitted to
Congress on Thursday, according to senior administration
* THE BANKING INDUSTRY. The budget sets aside $250 billion
as a "placeholder" if Obama decides to ask Congress for more
money to help the troubled U.S. financial system. Officials
said such a decision has yet to be made.
* CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY. The budget includes billions of
dollars in revenues, starting in 2012 and lasting many years,
from a greenhouse gas emissions trading system, one of Obama's
key proposals to fight global warming.
* HEALTHCARE OVERHAUL. The budget includes a 10-year,
$634-billion reserve fund to help pay for the president's
proposed healthcare reforms.
* PUBLIC WORKS. Officials are trying to jolt the faltering
economy in the face of 14 months of recession with public-works
* MIDDLE CLASS. Tax cuts would benefit the U.S. middle
* DEFENSE SPENDING. The budget projects costs of the Iraq
and Afghanistan wars of just over $140 billion this year and
$130 billion in the 2010 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, 2009.
Annual costs will drop after that to $50 billion annually.
Washington spent about $190 billion on the wars in 2008.
Obama looks likely to order U.S. combat troops to withdraw from
Iraq over about 18 months, according to U.S. officials. At the
same time, he is ramping up the U.S. military effort in
Afghanistan. Obama also wants to wring savings out of budget
* WEALTHIER AMERICANS. The budget envisions tax increases
on wealthier Americans to help reduce the deficit. Obama would
boost tax collection from about 16 percent of the economy this
year to 19 percent in 2013.
* BIG AGRIBUSINESS. The budget lays out spending cuts in
agriculture subsidies. The budget would phase out government
payments to crop producers making more than $500,000 -- saving
$9.8 billion over 10 years -- and eliminate subsidies for
cotton storage, saving an additional $570 million over the same
(Reporting by Caren Bohan and Jeff Mason, Editing by Bill