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Hullabaloo


Monday, February 04, 2008

 
Fiscal Conservatism

by dday

This is the equivalent of Led Zeppelin setting fire to the hotel by pouring whiskey all over it. Bush wants to leave by trashing the place.

President Bush unveiled a $3.1 trillion budget on Monday that supports sizable increases in military spending to fight the war on terrorism and protects his signature tax cuts.


It amounts to an 8% increase in national security funding. See, defense spending comes from a magic pot of gold that sits slightly to the left of a rainbow. There is no spending in defense spending.

The spending proposal, which shows the government spending $3 trillion in a 12-month period for the first time in history, squeezes most of government outside of national security, and also seeks $196 billion in savings over the next five years in the government's giant health care programs — Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor.

Even with those savings, Bush projects that the deficits, which had been declining, will soar to near-record levels, hitting $410 billion this year and $407 billion in 2009. The all-time high deficit in dollar terms was $413 billion in 2004.


This has it all - a near-record deficit, ridiculous amounts of largesse on the defense-industrial complex, putting tax cuts on the credit card for China and Japan to swipe and a big middle finger to the sick.

(Note: the whole budget is here)

And guess what, it has that signature Bush lack of responsibility for his own actions and fuzzy math!

Part of the deficit increase this year and next reflects the cost of a $145 billion stimulus package of tax refunds for individuals and tax cuts for business investment that Bush is urging Congress to pass quickly to try to combat a threatened recession.

Bush projects that the deficit will decline rapidly starting in 2010 and will achieve a $48 billion balance in 2012.

But Democrats said that forecast was based on flawed math that only included $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009 and no money after that and also failed to include any provisions after this year for keeping the alternative minimum tax, originally aimed at the wealthy, from ensnaring millions of middle-class taxpayers. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that fixing the AMT in 2012 would cost $118 billion, more than double the surplus Bush is projecting for that year.


And what do the big hitters in the Republican Party say about this piece of effluvium?

"They've obviously played an inordinate number of games to try to make it look better," Sen. Judd Gregg, the top Republican on the Budget Committee, said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"Let's face it. This budget is done with the understanding that nobody's going to be taking a long, hard look at it," said Gregg, R-N.H.


Stop looking at the real priorities of conservatives! You were not supposed to see that!

In one sense, this is the work of a President who's basically gotten everything he wanted for seven years, trying to come up with a final act that's as audacious as humanly possible. In another, this is really all the conservative movement can come up with. They rely on a media and a populace that doesn't delve into the intricacies of the budget, and so they feel free to announce their spending priorities to the world. And this is what they are when everything has been stripped away. It's theft on the grandest scale, a massive reshuffling of wealth upwards, a kind of corporate Marxism where those who deserve it least get the most. There isn't anything new or groundbreaking here, just a naked grab for cash in the final year.


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