President Obama at his second prime-time news conference: "We've got to make some tough budgetary choices. What we can't do, though, is sacrifice long-term growth, investments that are critical to the future. And that's why my budget focuses on health care, energy, education -- the kinds of things that can build a foundation for long-term economic growth, as opposed to the fleeting prosperity that we've seen over the last several years." -------------------- This $3.6 trillion budget proposal is facing opposition from republicans on Capitol Hill ("too expensive", "irresponsible"), who are furiously re-writing it as we speak. Obama's proposals are projected to create a $7 to $9.3 trillion national debt during the next 10 years. From ABC News: The four key pillars contained in his budget proposal are health care, energy reform, education and deficit reduction. Glenn Beck (on Fox News): "So let's see, here is the budget that has been submitted now. In 1996 we had a $1.6 trillion budget. In 1999 we had a $1.8, 2000 with President Clinton was $1.9. Then the first budget of Bush was $2.0, then $2.2, then $2.3, then $2.4, then $2.7, then $2.77, then $2.9. We are now, we are now looking at $3.6 trillion." (Glenn Beck was actually kind of funny, in his smarmy way: "$634 billion as a down payment to cover the cost of universal healthcare coverage? We don't have universal healthcare! We don't have it. What do you mean a "down payment" on universal healthcare? We don't have it! So why are we saving up for it? And it is a reserve fund for healthcare. This guy is so arrogant that he's just going to start saving up the money now for universal healthcare. You know what? I know you are not going to put it in a bank account. You are going to spend it just like we do everything else. When we go to the bank, we'll just go, where's that $634 billion? And you'll say, "Oh, I had to use that on some other stuff, but there's an IOU in there.") Glenn Beck did say something useful: "Thomas Jefferson said it is a crime to do this, to take from the next generation." But what's a country - whose healthcare system has been neglected for so long (with spiralling costs intertwined to the current economic mess); whose lack of renewable energy sources have made us hop into bed with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran; whose infrastructure: roads, schools, bridges, parks, are in desperate need of repair (thus, their inclusion in the stimulus package) - to do? As I see it, Obama's priorities are common-sensical. The "bigger picture" of combatting future recessions is to invest in healthcare and alternative energy sources now. I'm glad we've elected a big-picture guy. Conservatives can bitch now and thank us later.