Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bushenomics UPDATED

George is going to try and give momentum to his political resurrection tonight in a speech to the nation about the mess that is New Orleans. It's reported in Slate's Today's Paper:
"A Post piece previewing the president's speech suggests he's going to offer unspecified but gargantuan amounts of money, which is making fiscally conservative Republicans nervous".
This revelation is particularly interesting in how it dove-tails with yesterdays quotable quote by Tom "I'm not a crook" DeLay:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay yesterday declared an “ongoing victory” in his effort to cut spending, “and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.”
Well,it should be noted that this lean, DeLay budget includes:
$25,000 to study mariachi music in Nevada

$1.5 million for an Alaskan bus stop with heated sidewalks and electronic signs

$75,000 set aside for the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in Appleton, Wisconsin

$100,000 for a film festival in Rochester, New York.

$50 million for an indoor rainforest in Iowa.

$18,000 for a smoking booth at a private New Jersey airport.

$200,000 for a peanut festival in Alabama

$200 million to build a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska to a nearby island with 50 inhabitants.

$1 million for the B.B. King Museum in Indianola

$300,000 to construct the Great Falls Parking Garage in Auburn, Maine

$ 240,000 for potato storage research in Madison, Wisconsin
But I digress.

The Republican party is presiding over a budget mess that will take generations to straighten out. Ironically, it the Democrats advocating fiscal prudence, along with the far right conservatives in the GOP who want to eliminate spending AND taxes.

Let's see, when did Bush and the GOP Congress take office?

Well, after all, there's been a lot of extra expenses due to the war on terror and such, right?

Ok,.... but the economy was recovering and grew during this same period. Thus, the economy is perfectly able to absorb more spending...right?
Oh my.

Well certainly no one in their right mind would take such actions unless tax revenues were on the upswing, right?


Must be time for another tax

This little beauty bugs me most of all. Take a look at this pie chart of the Federal Budget. A full 8% of annual expenditures in 2005 are for INTEREST! That's $ 335,528,344,667.72! (note, this is as much as the entire Medicaid program) and growing.

At this point, balancing the budget can't be done without serious cuts to core programs (at least as defined by both sides of the isle). The only other option is to increase revenues. Grover Norquist's starve the beast philosophy is in full operation under Bush.

New Orleans will be rebuilt. It's going to be expensive and the money has to come from somewhere. I think Billmon gets it about right:
It's not that I begrudge the money [tax cuts to the rich]. A society in which pampered upper middle class consumers can splurge on luxury Humvees, personal watercraft, and cosmetic surgery for their pets can obviously afford to spend more than 3.8% of GDP on social programs. you think the U.S. can afford a tax increase?

Finally, this tidbit from Josh Marshall to remember as you listen to tonights P.R. ....ah....Presidential address:
Maybe you want to spend $200 billion on rebuilding the Delta region too. Fine. Something like that will probably be necessary. But don't fool yourself into thinking that what's coming is just a matter of a different chef making the same meal. This will be Iraq all over again, with the same fetid mix of graft, zeal and hubris. Cronyism like you wouldn't believe. Money blown on ideological fantasies and half-baked test-cases.
Because of Bush's misadventures in economics, we not only don't have the money, but there's no faith in how the borrowed money will be spent on the necessary public good, such as rebuilding New Orleans.

It's gonna be a long 3 years.

UPDATED: From Josh Marshall...Bush is trying to buy his way out of the public disapproval:
This worries me. Note the added emphasis. The clip comes from a piece in tomorrow's Post about yet another huge funding bill the president will roll out tomorrow for Katrina aid, which the Post says will cost more next year than the entire cost of the Iraq war thus far ...
Anyone remember that little piece the other day about the three part comeback plan from the negligence of responding to Katrina?


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