Wednesday, January 03, 2007

President's budget challenge-- sorry, Mr. President, we've already seen your 'fuzzy math'

Today, President Bush challenged Democrats on spending.

Well, there are certain areas where I would be all for a spending cut. Starting with the third of a trillion dollars we have dumped into Iraq since the war began. That is the first place where government spending should be slashed. Maybe we can get it to zero before the President leaves office-- wouldn't that be an accomplishment?

He claims he has a plan to balance the budget by 2012. Hmmm... Didn't he start with a balanced budget? No, actually he didn't. He actually started with a suplus well into the hundreds of billions of dollars. He also says he wants to preserve the Bush tax cuts (which would take a positive vote by Congress to extend; if Congress does nothing then they will expire on schedule and revert to the Clinton tax rates, which helped produce that surplus).

The President said he doesn't want 'politics as usual' and warned Congress against passing bills that are 'political statements.' Then he said that he wants a line-item veto. Um, excuse me Mr. President, you might recall that some years ago Congress did pass a line item veto. It was determined to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court after two Republican lawmakers sued when Bill Clinton actually used it to veto a couple of their pet projects. So, you are asking for something that has already been declared unconstitutional, apparently for appearances. What was that about bills that are 'political statements?'

"We need to reform Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid so future generations of Americans can benefit from these vital programs without bankrupting our country," he said.

I have an idea for reforming Medicare. How about scrapping the turkey of a drug bill that your party passed and you signed three years ago, Mr. President? You know, the one that gives away trillions of tax dollars to pharmaceutical companies and really hasn't made prescription drugs any cheaper for American seniors?

As for Social Security, that could be fixed by eliminating the $90,000 cap on Social Security wages subject to taxation. How about it, Mr. President? Obviously the American people didn't like your privatization plan last year, so how about something different?

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