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

Wednesday | February 05, 2003

Supply-siders back in charge

Bush has made clear that deficits are no longer a priority.

Those embers are now a five-alarm blaze. The Bush budget trumpets the reigning faith of this administration: Deficits don't matter much. OK, the budget is a little more elliptical on this point, but the message is embedded in this important yes-but passage: ''Limiting and reducing the federal debt remains a priority for this administration. But it is not the sole or even the top priority.'' Before Reagan, it would have been heresy for a Republican to suggest that balancing the budget was not a top government priority.
If that's what Bush believes, then great. It's a free country. What is obnoxious is that Republicans must LIE to the public to sell their policies. If he had an ounce of intellectual honesty, Bush would sell his policies me of "Who cares about deficits and debt? I don't. Tax cuts are more important." Instead, we got shit like this:
Tax relief is central to my plan to encourage economic growth, and we can proceed with tax relief without fear of budget deficits, even if the economy softens. Projections for the surplus in my budget are cautious and conservative. They already assume an economic slowdown in the year 2001. -- Bush Bush remarks at Western Michigan University, 3/27/01
Say what you will, 9-11 didn't cost us $800 billion over the past two years. According to the CBO, the 2001 Bush tax cut will cost the nation nearly $2 trillion over the next ten years.
Over the past year [1991], CBO's projection of the cumulative surplus for the 2002-2011 period has fallen by $4 trillion. Roughly $2.4 trillion of that decline is attributable to laws passed since last January--primarily the EGTRRA tax cuts of June 2001 and increased discretionary spending.
Then there's the sudden realization within the administration that the national debt is no big deal. Of course, that's not what he previously said:
We've increased discretionary spending by 4 percent, greater than the rate of inflation. And after we fund important priorities in the ongoing operations of our government, I believe we ought to pay down national debt. And so my budget pays down a record $2 trillion in debt over the next 10 years. And that sets up a $1 trillion contingency fund for emergencies or additional expenses. After funding priorities, after paying down debt, after setting up a contingency fund we still have money left over. -- Bush remarks at the American College of Cardiology Annual Convention, 3/21/01.
What happened to that extra $2 trillion? You can't blame 9-11 for that, or even increased defense and homeland security spending. Nope, a solid percentage of our projected surplus became a victim of Bush's War on the Economy.

This is an administration that will lie to achieve an agenda opposed by the majority of Americans. It will say the "right things" in speeches, and then do the exact opposite. Deficits and debt were bad and a priority, now they aren't a big deal ("manageable").


Posted February 05, 2003 09:05 AM | Comments (12)


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