WASHINGTON — This is change, whether you believe in it or not. And not just pocket change.
Following through on many of his campaign promises, President Obama wants to spend about $3.6 trillion next year to pull the nation out of recession and begin major new initiatives in health care, energy and education.
All that and more is contained in a 134-page budget request for 2010 and beyond that is unprecedented in size, breathtaking in scope and sure to have a major impact on millions of Americans — if he can get much of it through Congress.
All this would come at a price to be paid by in the future: annual deficits of at least $500 billion, and a federal debt that would reach $23 trillion in a decade.