Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Welcome to your new budget

posted by Jazz at 2/06/2005 06:45:00 AM


It's going to take a long time to distill all of the actual numbers from the fluff in Bush's budget proposal, but the AP has an early take on it. The bottom line is that Bush seems to be desperately trying to sell a "new and improved" image of himself as a tough fiscal conservative, but the damage control will fall far short of the damage that he's doing to the taxpayers' wallets.

We're still going to have an expanding deficit. The administrations spin on this will be that the hole they are digging us into is only about half as deep as previously predicted. There are a couple of major problems with this, of course. First of all, these "improved numbers" still don't include the cost of Bush's wars or his proposed piratization of Social Security. So any numbers you see which look "better" are, once again, nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Even for the reductions he's going to achieve, the cost will be high. To finance all of his other grand adventures, he's looking for cuts in:
  • Medicaid
  • Education for American Indian children
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (again)
  • Home heating subsidies for the poor
  • Federal-state health programs for the poor and disabled
  • Amtrack
  • Farm subsidies
Sen. Kent Conrad (D- North Dakota) of the Senate Budget Committee said that we can expect further cuts to pay for all of Dubya's misadventures, which he termed "draconian." Thanks, Kent. I feel better already.

Yet in the face of all this, Bush still wants to make his disastrous tax cuts permanent and shows no lessening of his appetite for tax dollars to fund the war machine. Next stop.... Iran!

If there is any good news to be had from this, it's just possible that Bush will push to actually cut down the pork barrel spending on both sides of the aisle for the firs time in ages.