Monday, February 05, 2007

BUSH'S $2.9 TRILLION BUDGET DEAD-ON-ARRIVAL: CUTS TO PROGRAMS PROMISED BY DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY, DOESN'T BALANCE BUDGET

wArSHINtuHn--It appears President Bush was in-fact handed his ass this-weekend at the Virginia retreat with Democratic leadership, so we get this retaliatory-strike at Democrats and the Middle Class (or what's left of it) with this $2.9 Trillion budget. The President's comments contradict 2005 (and recent) statements that the budget would be balanced "by 2010"--no wait, 2012. No wait--not anytime within the 21st century. Traditional conservatives: where are you?

Get the crap out of your ears and start speaking-out. Where are your firebrand exhortations for fiscal responsibility now, when they are most-needed? It doesn't take an economist to note that making his tax-cuts for rich permanent won't balance the federal budget in 2010 or even 2012. Where's the money coming-from? Cutting social-programs for the needy, including Medicare. The BBC has this to say:

Now that the budget has been presented, it will be debated by Congress at length, and is likely to face many changes. This Federal budget covers spending from [Ed.-my emphasis] 1 October 2008; but in many past years, Congress has failed to reach agreement on the budget before that date. (BBC, 02.05.2007)

In other words, it's not going to end-up as the President envisioned, since he's burned too-many bridges (no, not just in the Middle East), and committed sundry crimes. This isn't the kind of bill you submit to Congress when you're a lame-duck President. Is it that he's out-to-lunch, with no-contact to objective reality? Do we have to ask? Perhaps, as this writer stated earlier, it's simply meant as an affront since it has zero-chance of passing in its present form. Remember that back in 2005 we heard the same line that the GOP and the Bush administration were going to cut the federal deficit in-half by 2010--it's just another ruse.

Yes, remember November of 2005's Senate Bill that was supposed to cut the deficit? It didn't work because of out-of-control spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, compounded by the most massive tax-cuts in American history--and during a war, something that raised the hackles of most level-headed economists. So, does this budget have any new ideas? Absolutely-not, it's the same as below:

The Senate approved sweeping deficit-reduction legislation last night that would save about $35 billion over the next five years by cutting federal spending on prescription drugs, agriculture supports and student loans, while clamping down on fraud in the Medicaid program. ...Among the deepest cuts are those hitting Medicare and Medicaid. (Washington Post, 11.04.2005)

At the time, House Speaker Tom Delay "apologized for excessive spending by Congress." (ibid) We know what happened to him and his cohorts, and we know what will happen to any Republican incumbent who votes for the full-version of this new science-fiction budget. The GOP and the radical right had its 60s, and now it's time to pay the bill. No more fun, no more games at the expense of the taxpayer (everyone but the wealthiest now, since they don't pay at all now).

And for as much filth as this administration has flung at the French, their deficit-reduction plan bears a strong rhetorical-resemblance to...that of the French. However, the French plan is based primarily on selling-off of public-owned utilities, airports, and France Telecom. The public in France isn't stupid enough to let them cut domestic spending for the needy. And again, the Bush plan of 2005 proposed for the umpteenth-time, the selling-off of Alaskan land reserves for oil- exploration and exploitation. Interestingly, the French plan proposed over a year ago is only a three-year one, and has a goal of balancing their budget by 2010--Bush's original target-date, one that has been recalibrated due to the ongoing-conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The GOP has a fixation on the number "5", because terms of office are in even numbers, a way of cutting-losses.

And even though an objective, non-partisan 2004 report from the Congressional Budget Office (the CBO) stated that it was Bush administration tax-cuts (for the wealthiest) which were "fuelling the deficit", we get this plan that cuts domestic spending again:

The new CBO data show that changes in law enacted since January 2001 increased the deficit by $539 billion in 2005. In the absence of such legislation, the nation would have a surplus this year. Tax cuts account for nearly half — 48 percent — of this $539 billion in increased costs. Increases in program spending make up the other 52 percent and have been primarily concentrated in defense, homeland security, and international affairs. (CBPP, 01.31.2005)

In short, the federal deficit we now have is directly-attributable to the former GOP-majority and the Bush administration. All budgets submitted by them should be viewed in this light, and should be summarily rejected as unrealistic and fiscally unsound by the reasonable.


BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6332555.stm

L.A. Times Story: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070125/NEWS01/701250332/-1/TRADEWINDS

Washington Post on the 2005 Failed-Attempt at (Attention) Deficit Reduction: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/03/AR2005110300999.html

The French Plan (January of 2006) from Bloomberg: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/01/11/business/franc.php

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: http://www.cbpp.org/1-25-05bud.htm