Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Deficit Rising

Tonight it is about how the Republican Congress is Flogging the House Rules and complicit in the rising Bush deficit. From the New York Times:
The degree to which the political price of President Bush's huge budget deficits is starting to dawn on moderate Republicans was in abundant evidence yesterday in the House of Representatives. Mr. Bush's loyalists had to bring to bear the full arm-twisting might of one-party government, and break House rules, to eke out a defeat of a perfectly sensible plan to impose some budget accountability.

The stage for this political spectacle was a vote over a Democratic proposal to counter Mr. Bush's demand for unaffordable tax cuts by requiring offsetting savings in spending if the president's "temporary" cuts are to be made permanent. The vote was supposed to last five minutes, but it was held open for 23 extra minutes in a clear abuse of House rules.
But that's the Times! The commie pinko rag will always attack Bush, won't it? What to comment? Can I just say, "they are right?" Yeah, there's a little inside politics about how a couple Republicans are jumping ship on deficits, just like it is inside politics that some Republicans are jumping ship on defending Iraq policy at all costs. But just a Times Editorial isn't enough. So I turned to the Economic Policy Institute's take on the the budget resolution, a resolution the Bush Corporation is touting as lowering deficits:
The budget resolution passed by the House of Representatives on March 25 is an odd response to current concerns about deficits.1 Instead of lowering deficits, the resolution would increase deficits through at least 2005, for a total increase of $242 billion over five years.

The meaning of “increase” here is critical to understanding the budget proposal in context. With no policy changes and very optimistic assumptions, the “baseline” deficit is projected to drop to $170 billion in 2009. Thus, doing nothing implies an automatic decrease from the projected 2005 level of $323 billion. In contrast, the resolution proposes tax and spending changes that would put the deficit at $231 billion in 2009—$61 billion higher than the baseline level of $170 billion.Economic Policy Institute
Yeah, not only are the rosy projections not forecasting a balanced budget in the Bushite prospective second term, but his actions effect the budget worse than if we did NOTHING!

Who was that guy who excoriated Reagan for "Voodoo economics" and why didn't he teach his son to pronounce the word "nuclear?"

In the meantime, domestic spending is projected to go down, despite a massive and ineffective prescription drug plan. And people around the country can't get the healthcare they need and are getting their jobs outsourced while Mr. Snow speechifies about the glories of said outsourcing. These are bizarre and scary times.