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

Monday | March 03, 2003

GOP downplays record deficit

Does anyone else find it odd that the Republicans running this country, you know, the supposed party of "fiscal discipline", are engaged in a "weeks-long campaign to downplay their deficit forecasts"?

The GOP's argument is that adjusted for inflation, the projected $304 billion deficit this year is not the biggest in history. That's it.

Can you see the campaign ads? "Bush for re-election: his budget deficits were NOT the biggest in history!"

There's the usual GOP hypocrisy:

The battle over how best to characterize multiyear budget figures was also waged in 1995 when Republicans took the opposite view from their position today and Democrats accused them of trying to "cut" Medicare and Medicaid.


GOP Chairman Haley Barbour even took out newspaper ads offering $1 million to anyone who could prove Republicans would "cut" Medicare. Republicans said those programs were not being cut because spending for both would still rise every year the opposite of their view today that inflation and other factors must be considered.

In absolute dollars, Bush's own optimistic pre-war numbers give us record deficits. In inflation-adjusted dollars as a percentage of the GDP, we've had worse deficits (courtesy of such Republicans as Reagan and Bush I). So what?

Bush took Clinton's record surpluses and killed them literally overnight through gross mismanagement of the economy. A $300 billion deficit is still a $300 billion deficit, whether it's the "biggest" or not. The GOP hopes to obscure this point by arguing a semantic point, but really, is this an argument they can ever win? It's bizarre that they're drawing attention to it with such a stupid argument.

It's time for the country to wake up -- the roles have reversed. The Democratic Party is the party of fiscal responsibility, while the GOP is the party of Borrow and Spend. This point is no longer debateable. The record of the past 20 years is quite clear.

Posted March 03, 2003 04:21 PM | Comments (56)


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