The economies President Carter ordered to meet his goal of keeping the fiscal 1980 federal deficit below $30 billion will mean higher costs for school lunches, thousands fewer public-service jobs for the unemployed and an increased squeeze on state and local governments.
These are three examples in a rather lengthy list in the new budget.
While Carter predicted Congress and the public will support the cuts as part of an anti-inflation program, Republican leaders said the economies did not go far enough, and spokesmen for affected groups expressed, with varying degrees of vehemence, their pain.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said the president was asking "the poor, the black, the sick, the young, the cities and the unemployed to bear a disproportionate share" of the austerity measures. Many other Democrats predicted a major fight over Carter's proposal to expand defense spending 3 percent faster than inflation, while freezing nondefense outlays in real-dollar terms.
Perhaps because the budget sent to Congress yesterday was less stringent in some respects than forecast, the critics were more muted than might have been expected.
But there was no doubt that the budget represented a heavy foot on the brakes of the kind of accelerated increase in federal spending seen in recent years.
Carter called the overall response "very encouraging," and the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees said that, barring a recession, Carter's main goal of trimming the deficit to $29 billion or less could be met.
"I think the overall numbers probably will be pretty much supported unless we slip into a deep recession," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Edmund S. Muskie (D-Maine).
House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes (R-Ariz.) capsulized the GOP reaction when he called the budget "a modest step towards fiscal sanity" and quickly added, "I am dubious the president can persuade the Democrats in Congress to go along."
How severe the overall economies were depended on what yardstick was used. Budget Director James T. McIntyre Jr. said $12.4 billion had been saved from the sum theoretically necessary to fund all current and proposed programs with inflated dollars.
But many of those cuts are problematical -- depending on economies resulting from yet-to-be-passed hospital cost containment legislation, for example, or congressional acceptance of program reductions that have often regularly been rejected in the past.
Nonetheless, many groups are being asked to get along with less.
For example, grants to state and local governments, which rose $14 billion from 1977 to 1979, are budgeted to rise only $800 million next year. Instead of having 25.4 percent of their budgets financed from Washington, the states and cities would have 23.6 percent of their bills paid next year.
Kentucky Gov. Julian Carroll (D), chairman of the National Governors Association, said the states and cities "have got to rewrite and rebalance their budgets" in view of Carter's decision.
He and Jason Boe of Oregon, president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, estimated there was a real-dollar loss of $5.3 billion in federal aid, which Boe said "represents a shift in the burden of funding programs from the federal government to the states."
That word "burden" came up repeatedly, as defenders of particular programs assessed the damage they had suffered at the budget-cutters' hands.
While McIntyre listed increases in various programs he said totaled an extra $4.5 billion for the poor, the organizations that claim to speak for that constitutency disputed the budget's priorities.
Marian Wright Edelman, director of the Children's Defense Fund, said "the generals and admirals get the cost of living plus 3 percent, while children and their families are told to make-do with last year's level or less."
"A government of compassion would not increase the burden of families with a disabled breadwinner," said AFL-CIO President George Meany, "or delay retirement benefits, or phase out student benefits to orphans or eliminate minimum benefits for retirees who earned the very least in their working years."
While voicing their expected criticisms, some of the interest-group spokesmen conceded that the budget cuts were less severe than they had feared.
Ron Brown of the National Urban League called the budget "more responsive to the needs of the unemployed and the poor than appeared would be the case a month ago."
A spokesman for the National Association of Counties said that the budget is "fair and, with few exceptions, the cuts are distributed evenly and across the board."
The National League of Cities' spokesman said that while he was "disturbed at the continuing priority given to defense spending," the specifics of the budget "show a desire to concentrate resources on programs that help the neediest individuals."
Here are some highlights of major domestic spending changes Carter is recommending:
HEALTH -- Most government health programs will have to eat inflation in fiscal 1980 to free money for a 10 percent increase in Medicare spending -- an increase that could easily run larger if an administration hospital cost control program fails to achieve the projected $1.7 billion savings.
Among the few big winners are the mental health programs, championed by Rosalynn Carter, and the antismoking program, endorsed by Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph A. Califano Jr., and programs for alcoholism, adolescents, preventive medicine and health maintenance organizations.
Big losers are the grants to students of medicine and nursing.
But unless Congress intervenes, as it usually does, overall medical research funds will decline, and, according to Kennedy, 34 separate health activities "receive absolute cuts and 24 more are funded well below a current-services level." Doctors and nurses are protesting planned slashes in capitation grants for students of nursing and medicine.
EDUCATION -- Education lobbies said the cutbacks in their area -- totaling $446 million -- were not as heavy as had been feared, but vowed to oppose many of the proposed economies. The main one -- traditionally rejected by Congress -- would eliminate "impacted" aid to districts for children of federal employes, except those whose parents both live and work on federal property, saving an estimated $291 million.
The budget also estimates a $156 million saving in the Basic Education Opportunity Grants (BEOG) program, from a "clean-up of fraud," but is committed to funding all eligible applicants. It also includes an increase in Title I grants, targeted for disadvantaged elementary and secondary students, and slight boosts for the handicapped and districts facing desegregation expenses. But House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Carl Perkins (D-Ky.) said he would push for more funds for vocational education and student loans.
WELFARE -- While Social Security and other welfare payments, controlled by formulas, indexed for inflation and fueled by the growing numbers of the elderly, rise almost $15 billion, some $500 million in proposed cuts have aroused a great outcry.
Carter is proposing to eliminate the $255 lump-sum death benefit, phase out college aid for survivors and terminate the parent's benefit once the youngest child reaches 16, not 18. Officials say compensating benefits for those in need would be provided from programs financed from general revenues, but that has not stilled the outcry from those like Jim Hacking of the American Association of Retired Persons, who say the proposals "amount to breaking faith with contributors" to Social Security.
The administration is also seeking new limits on disability payments; a requirement that employers of post-65 workers include them in company health-insurance plans, rather than have them collect Medicare benefits, and changes in the aid to Families with Dependent Children program that would be save $241 million.
LABOR MANPOWER -- The budget proposes slashing programs under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act by $729 million below their 1979 levels, reducing the number of public service jobs from 625,000 to 467,000 by the end of 1980. Labor Department officials argue that up to 100,000 jobs will be made up under a $600 million Target Employment Tax Credit program, which will provide subsidies to private employers who hire people eligible for CETA jobs.
But the thrust of Carter's budget proposals provides a clear break in the tradition of Democratic presidents -- a reduction in the number of government-paid jobs and greater reliance on private employers to take up some of the slack.
Carter also proposed cutting summer jobs for youths by $136 million, reducing the number of jobs from 1 million to 750,000 by raising the minimum age for the program from 14 to 15.
AGRICULTURE -- In an example of the kind of pohtically sensitive program Carter is taking on in his anti-inflation flight, the budget calls for a $110 million spending cut by eliminating the federal subsidy for milk at schools where milk is provided as part of other food programs. The president also proposed increasing by 5 cents a meal the cost of school breakfasts and lunches provided to children from families above the poverty line, representing a spending reduction of $357 million.
Other major cuts in spending include a $326 million reduction in rural development projects and cuts in grants and loans for rural housing by more than $400 million.
The Youth Conservation Corps., a program providing 38,000 summer jobs, would be all but eliminated by a $60 million spending cut.
HOUSING AND CITIES -- Projects in the pipeline are expected to boost the number of subsidized housing starts from 195,000 in 1979 to 230,000 in 1980. But the budget cuts funds for new commitments from 360,000 in the current year to 300,000.
That is a less drastic reduction than had been rumored earlier, and Department of Housing and Urban Development officials said they felt they could ease the impact by administrative improvements.
Overall, HUD's budget rises from $9 billion to $10.6 billion, with heavier grants for community development a major factor. A housing rehabilitation program which has been criticized as a boon to upper-middle class families, rather than the poor, is cut from $230 million to $130 million in the budget.
ENERGY -- The Energy Department suffered a substantial cutback, from $10.7 billion to $8.4 billion.
Some of the big losers include conservation programs, reduced from $671 million to $555 million, and oil shale development, cut from $48.6 million to $28.2 million.
The budget includes money to study the nuclear breeder reactor, but no money to build and license a breeder at Clinch River, Tenn. Carter also shelved an Energy Department plan to build two solvent refined coal plants (costing up to $800 million each) for a study of competing designs.
ENVIRONMENT -- The Environmental Protection Agency's operating budget rises slightly, but sewage grants to local communities drop $400 million to $3.8 billion. The agency's budget reflects a new emphasis on regulation of topic chemicals.
The Interior Department budget is down $231 million to $5.72 billion, and shows a shift of funds from the rurral west to urban recreation. Funds for inspecting strip-mine operations rise significantly.
JUSTICE -- The cuts at the Justice Department struck hardest in terms of money at the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and in terms of personnel at the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The budget request for LEAA, which is being revamped in its role of providing federal aid to state and local law enforcement agencies, was slashed by $111.5 million, leaving it with $546 million. That cut is almost equal to the 4.4 percent reduction in the overall Justice Department budget.
The president had promised INS a substantial increase in the number of border patrolmen, but the 1980 budget would do the opposite. According to INS Commissioner Leonel J. Castillo, 254 border patrolmen will be cut.
SCIENCE-RESEARCH -- Of the 10 major federal agencies seeking money for research, only three lost funds in the 1980 budget proposals -- the Agriculture, Interior and Transportation departments. Even these cuts were relatively minor in a budget that should keep most federally supported research programs going.
COMMERCE -- Overall spending drops $1 billion, because Congress has ended the special anti-recession local public works program, but many of Commerce's other programs -- including the Economic Development Agency -- are increasing.
TRANSPORTATION -- A major cut proposed in the budget would reduce money for Amtrak by $19 million, a figure that assumes an already proposed reduction in Amtrak service. (TABLE) (COLUMN)( $ billion)(COLUMN)FY 1979.(COLUMN)(COLUMN)FY 1980 (COLUMN)(COLUMN)Current(COLUMN)FY 1980(COLUMN)Carter (COLUMN)(COLUMN)Services'(COLUMN)Estimate(COLUMN)Proposal National Defense(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)125.5(COLUMN)134.5(COLUMN)138.2 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)113.7(COLUMN)125.5(COLUMN)125.8 International(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)13.5(COLUMN)11.9(COLUMN)13.7 Affairs(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)7.2(COLUMN)7.9(COLUMN)8.2 General Science,(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)5.2(COLUMN)5.5(COLUMN)5.7 Space & Technology(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)5.1(COLUMN)5.4(COLUMN)5.5 Energy(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)7.5(COLUMN)19.3(COLUMN)19.5 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)8.6(COLUMN)8.0(COLUMN)7.9 Natural Resources(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)12.8(COLUMN)12.8(COLUMN)12.9 & Environment(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)11.1(COLUMN)11.8(COLUMN)11.5 Agriculture(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)8.3(COLUMN)4.9(COLUMN)4.9 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)6.0(COLUMN)5.0(COLUMN)4.3 Commerce &(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)6.1(COLUMN)7.0(COLUMN)8.3 Housing Credit(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)3.0(COLUMN)3.4(COLUMN)3.4 Transportation(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)18.9(COLUMN)19.5(COLUMN)19.1 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)17.1(COLUMN)18.0(COLUMN)17.6 Community &(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)8.1(COLUMN)7.6(COLUMN)11.3 Regional Development(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)9.0(COLUMN)7.2(COLUMN)7.3 Education, Training(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)32.2(COLUMN)31.6(COLUMN)30.9 Employment & Social(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)30.6(COLUMN)31.0(COLUMN)30.2 Services Health(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)52.6(COLUMN)57.6(COLUMN)57.6 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)49.5(COLUMN)55.1(COLUMN)53.4 Income Security(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)191.4(COLUMN)218.5(COLUMN)214.5 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)158.8(COLUMN)179.5(COLUMN)179.1 Veterans Benefits(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)20.4(COLUMN)21.0(COLUMN)21.0 & Services(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)20.3(COLUMN)20.4(COLUMN)20.5 Administration(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)4.2(COLUMN)4.3(COLUMN)4.3 of Justice(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)4.3(COLUMN)4.3(COLUMN)4.4 General Government(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)4.3(COLUMN)4.4(COLUMN)4.5 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)4.3(COLUMN)4.2(COLUMN)4.4 General Purpose(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)8.6(COLUMN)9.2(COLUMN)8.8 Fiscal Assistance(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)8.8(COLUMN)9.2(COLUMN)8.8 Interest(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)52.7(COLUMN)57.1(COLUMN)57.0 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)52.7(COLUMN)57.1(COLUMN)57.0 Allowances: Civilian Pay Raises(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)(COLUMN)2.1(COLUMN).9 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)(COLUMN)2.1(COLUMN).9 Contingencies(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)(COLUMN)(COLUMN)1.5 (COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)(COLUMN)(COLUMN).5 Undistributed(COLUMN)Authority(COLUMN)18.7(COLUMN)19.0(COLUMN)19.0 Offsetting(COLUMN)Outlays(COLUMN)18.7(COLUMN)19.0(COLUMN)19.0 Receipts TOTAL AUTHORITY(COLUMN)(COLUMN)553.7(COLUMN)610.2(COLUMN)615.5 TOTAL OUTLAYS(COLUMN)(COLUMN)491.3(COLUMN)536.1(COLUMN)531.6(END TABLE)
Source: OMB (TABLE) INCREASES(COLUMN)FY(COLUMN)1980 Defense, excluding pay, including atomic energy(COLUMN)2.2 International(COLUMN).3 Energy, excluding supply(COLUMN).1 National Development Bank(COLUMN).2 Transportation, excluding rail(COLUMN).1 Elementary and secondary education(COLUMN).3 Social services(COLUMN).4 Health ervices(COLUMN).2 Medicare and medicaid increases(COLUMN).4 Veterans compensation(COLUMN).5 Welfare reform allowance Allowance for other contingencies(COLUMN).5 Other(COLUMN)1.8 (COLUMN)TOTAL MAJOR (COLUMN)INCREASES(COLUMN)7.0 DECREASES Hospital cost containment: Medicare(COLUMN)(COLUMN)1.5 Medicaid(COLUMN)(COLUMN).2 Other health financing cost-savings(COLUMN)(COLUMN).4 Veterans medical care(COLUMN)(COLUMN).3 School lunch and related(COLUMN)(COLUMN).4 Social Security and railroad retirement(COLUMN)(COLUMN).7 Public assistance(COLUMN)(COLUMN).2 Energy supply(COLUMN)(COLUMN).3 Agricultural price supports(COLUMN)(COLUMN).7 National forests(COLUMN)(COLUMN).3 Rail transportation(COLUMN)(COLUMN).5 Impact aid(COLUMN)(COLUMN).2 Higher education(COLUMN)(COLUMN).4 Public service employment(COLUMN)(COLUMN).6 Pay restraint, Defense(COLUMN)(COLUMN)1.8 Pay restraint, civilian agencies(COLUMN)(COLUMN)1.2 Other(COLUMN)(COLUMN)1.7 (COLUMN)TOTAL MAJOR (COLUMN)DECREASES(COLUMN)11.6(END TABLE)
* Current services=cost of maintaining programs under last year's budget.