Monday, November 26, 2007

Bush's sudden passion for fiscal discipline is hypocrtical

The New York Times wrote today that:

Mr. Bush’s sudden passion for fiscal discipline is hypocritical...

This White House is guilty of runaway spending — on the war and on tax cuts for the rich. Ending the war and rolling back excessive tax cuts are the way to control spending, not cutting needed government services."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

In fact, I did say it myself when on September 29, 2007 I wrote:

The two main causes of the Bush era deficits are its high end tax cuts and the War in Iraq.

Congressional Budget Office data show that Bush's tax cuts have been the single largest contributor to the reemergence of substantial budget deficits. Legislation enacted since 2001 has added almost $2.3 trillion to deficits between 2001 and 2006, with half of the deterioration in the budget due to the tax cuts (about a third was due to increases in security spending, and only a sixth to increases in domestic spending).

56.5% of these tax cuts went to the richest 10% of wage earners, those averaging $256,000. Only 14.7% went to the bottom 60% who average $44,000.

Unlike in previous wars, the United States has cut taxes at the same time it has increased military spending."It's fair to say all of the money spent on the war has been borrowed," says Richard Kogan, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank in Washington. "But eventually everything has to be paid for."

And the bill is growing!

Just last week President Bush requested an additional $42.3 billion in “emergency” funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. If passed, the 2008 war bill will be almost $190 billion, the same as the 10 year Farm Bill increase the Journal singled out for criticism and the largest single-year total for these wars. It is an increase of 15 percent from 2007.

It will bring the year end total for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since Sept. 11, 2001 to $800 billion, still less than half the
$2 trillion total projected cost.

As Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen once said about the Defense budget, "a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money"-money that could buy a lot of healthcare, infrastructure, early childhood education or deficit reduction!

Read the entire New York Times editorial here.

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