more on bush's budget
Since blogging is slow, I didn't take note of the release yesterday of Bush's big-spending, record defecit budget. Really, I thought that the notion of massive boosts of credit-card spending by Bush hardly come as a surprise.
But this Washington Post analysis packed a premise that may come as a surprise to anyone who beleived Bush's Campaign 2000 rhetoric: "Embracing Big Tax Cuts and Deficits, Bush Moves Away From Compassionate Conservatism"
In the face of burgeoning budget deficits, the president has proposed new tax cuts that would cost the Treasury nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years, on top of the $1.35 trillion tax cut passed in 2001. The tax cuts' potential impact on government enterprises has caught many supporters and detractors by surprise.
New controls would be placed on poverty programs, such as the earned income tax credit, school lunch subsidies and Medicaid, to ensure that billions of dollars in subsidies do not go to people not entitled to them. Two huge entitlement programs -- Medicare and Medicaid -- would be in for changes that would push millions of senior citizens into private-sector managed health plans while giving states far more control over their own health care spending.
"I am absolutely delighted he is doing so much more than people had any right to expect," said Dan Mitchell, a tax analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "I'm almost to the point where I might smile." [Ed: I think "fear" might be a better word...]
If Bush wins his entire agenda, the White House expects a $304 billion deficit in 2003, rising to $307 billion in 2004. After shrinking to $178 billion in 2007, the deficit would begin to climb again in 2008, the last year of deficits the White House tried to project. Only after 2008 do the costs of the president's Medicare proposal and many of his tax cuts begin to appear. [emphasis added]
Of course, one would characterize a transaction in which thr true costs were hidded as "dishonest." One might even characterize it as "fraud."
I wonder what the centrist voters who fell for Bush's "compassionate conservative" schtick are thinking this morning? The point is, I strongly doubt most Americans who voted for Bush in 2000 thought they were voting for this.