Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | February 03, 2003

Bush's budget-busting budget

From the State of the Union address:

This country has many challenges. We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations.
Sounds good, so how the hell does he explain this?
President Bush on Monday sent Congress a $2.23 trillion budget for next year that would expand the military, slash taxes for investors and overhaul government-subsidized health care, racking up record deficits even without the cost of a possible war with Iraq.

Underscoring the dramatic erosion in the nation's fiscal picture since a record surplus in 2000, the president projects budget deficits of $304 billion for the current fiscal year and $307 billion next year, surpassing a 1992 record of $290 billion.

Over the next five years, the White House expects the budget shortfall to add up to more than $1.08 trillion, although as recently as 2001 the government was forecasting 10-year budget surpluses of $5.6 trillion.

Keep in mind that even using the White House's optimistic numbers (private economists expect the deficit to top $400 billion this year), that's a $1.08 trillion problem that Bush is leaving behind "to other Congresses, to other presidents, and other generations".

And the kicker? These numbers don't include the costs of a new Iraq war. Given that such a war is a certainty in Bush's mind, why not include the costs in the budget? Because it'll be politically more palatable to do so after the shooting has begun and people are distracted by matters of life and death.

But here's the bottom line:

But perhaps the most dramatic change in recent years in the budget is the erosion in the nation's fiscal picture since a record surplus in 2000. The White House now expects deficits to total $1.084 trillion over the next five years. As recently as 2001, 10-year budget surpluses of $5.6 trillion were forecast.
This is one mess that won't be cleaned up by this Republican president, or his GOP Congress, or this generation. It's the gift that will keep on giving until a Democratic president is forced to clean it up.

Posted February 03, 2003 08:49 AM | Comments (20)


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