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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Bush is on the stump again today in Detroit to push for reconstructing Social Security and the budget. The $2.5 trillion spending plan is advertised as reducing America's deficit, expected to reach $27 billion this year. But even some conservatives say it's more big government with different priorities for the next five years. While defense and homeland security spending increase, and domestic spending decreases, the deficit, they say, stays about where it is today. Will cuts in programs like Food Stamps, home heating assistance, Amtrak and farm subsidies survive in Congress? Why were the costs of Iraq, Afghanistan and restructuring Social Security left out? We get several perspectives from business reporters, experts on the budget and fiscal policy, and advocates for agriculture, the environment and the working poor.
  • Making News: Secretary of State Rice Tries to Improve Relations with Europe
    Condoleezza Rice deliberately chose Paris for the major speech of her first foreign tour as Secretary of State. France, of course, was the European ally most opposed to the war in Iraq. Dominique Moisi, Deputy Director of the French Institute of International Relations, attended Rice's speech and offers an assessment.
  • Reporter-s Notebook: Israelis and Palestinians Return to the Negotiating Table
    In Egypt today, the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Territories met for the first time in four years, promising an end to all violence against each other. President Bush has invited Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas to visit the White House, Jordan and Egypt say they'll reinstate their ambassadors to Israel, and Secretary Rice voiced cautious optimism. Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor at the University of Maryland, considers the renewed possibilities for Middle East peace.

Secretary Rice's remarks at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques

President Bush 2006 budget proposal, Office of Management and Budget on

EWG's farm subsidy database

Gleckman's article on Bush's plans for balancing agenda, budget

Riedel on the President's budget proposal

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon on today's summit with Palestinian President Abbas

Secretary Rice on yesterday's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

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