For a president that spent six years signing every bloated budget bill he could find, and who has been a bigger spender than any president since LBJ, Bush has suddenly found his inner tightwad, at least as far as education, healthcare, and worker protections are concerned.
President Bush vetoed a $606 billion spending bill Tuesday that would have funded education, health and labor programs for the current fiscal year, complaining that it was larded with pork and too expensive as he took aim at a top priority of the new Democratic Congress. […]
At the same time, the president signed a $471 billion Defense Department spending bill that funds regular Pentagon operations other than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While the White House is anxious to characterize this as some kind of partisan fight, the funding package (which includes money for Medicare and Medicaid) actually passed the House with more than 50 Republican votes. For that matter, the whining over earmarks is misleading — the Pentagon bill also included “pork,” but Bush didn’t hesitate to sign it.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Robert Greenstein highlighted the president’s “misplaced values.”