Friday, February 04, 2005

The Price of Bush

“Deficits don’t matter.”

So much for waiting to see whether the Bush administration is serious or not about fiscal responsibility. With those three words (as reported in Ron Suskind’s book The Price of Loyalty) Vice President Dick Cheney told us long ago all we need to know about where we’re headed in the next four years.

Mark Hyman suggests that the upcoming proposed budget from the White House will let us know how serious George Bush is about reducing government expenses. Here’s the thing: we’ve already had four years to figure this out. When Bush came into office, the main economic worry was the possible consequences of paying off the national debt too quickly. That’s one problem the 43rd president nipped in the bud. We now have record budget deficits and the national debt climbs steadily higher. The war in Iraq that we were told would pay for itself has become a money pit of gargantuan proportions. Tax cuts for the haves and have-mores (whom Bush calls “his base”) have shifted the tax burden to the middle class and driven up the debt in the process. The effort to begin the dismantling of Social Security by raiding the funds and giving them to the private sector will cost between 1 and 2 trillion dollars.

Pork barrel spending, as ugly as it can be, is a non-factor in the larger issues of the economic soundness of the country. Yes, individual legislators use ethically shady means to help out their constituents. But eliminate every penny of this kind of spending, and there won’t be a bit of difference in the big economic picture. We should be critical of those who put their own political interests ahead of the common good, but anyone who says cracking down on pork barrel spending will do a thing to change the economic situation of the country is either fooling themselves or committing first-degree demagoguery.

The fact is that the Bush administration, along with a Republican controlled Senate and a Republican controlled House of Representatives, has given us exploding deficits and a national debt that will still be getting paid off by our grandchildren. Contrary to Hyman’s suggestion, we already know exactly how serious this cast of characters is about fiscal responsibility: they’re not.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sadly, Hyman and the Neo-Facists controlling our government don't care about government deficits, trade deficits, outsourcing of jobs, Social Security, Medicare, the environment, individual freedoms, morality, justifying their wars, torture, global alliances, the reputation of the USA around the world, or unfortunately, 'We the People of the United States'! This is, in my humble opinion, one of the most fiscally irresponsible and morally bankrupt governments in the history of the civilized world!

Just how obvious does the deception, corruption, incompetence and cronyism have to be for the majority of Americans who are asleep-at-the-wheel, to wake up and realize that their government has been sold out to the corporations and the very few richest people in the world! And, that they are being spoon-fed government propaganda by the media at a level, and with an Orwellian precision, that far surpasses anything that ever came out of Provda or the old Soviet Union!

The twin deficits are running at a totally unsustainable 10 percent of GDP per year and increasing, while they simultaneously give enormous tax cuts to the rich, token tax cuts to families, cut funding to the states who in turn shift more of the tax burden to the working people. These tax cuts for the rich in a time of war are unprecedented in the history of mankind! The value of the dollar against other currencies is falling like a rock and the idiots in control want to make the tax cuts permanent?

Next, they will be pushing for a 'flat tax' or a 'national sales tax' that will insure that the wealthy will never pay taxes again and the entire tax burden will be shifted on to the backs of people working for a living! When these people talk about an 'ownership society', what they really mean is a society in which they own everything! The value of the dollar is irrelevant if you own all of them!

Thanks Ted, and keep bustin' Hymen! (Hyman)

Mike B. in SC


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