Monday, February 07, 2005
An Austere Budget.
President Bush's proposed budget promised to be austere. Indeed it cuts into 150 programs laying waste completely to a few of them. It hits poor people, it hits veterans, it hits first responders, it hits students, teachers, Native Americans, small business owners and it hits train riders. It doesn't really hit the very rich or large corporations oddly enough. So what do I think of it? I think that Democrats in Congress should do everything in their power to make sure it passes exactly as it is written from the President as quickly as possible.
What? Why would I want to do that? Because this is a massive bluff. The President is proposing it because he believes that a lot of the harsher parts have no chance of slipping through Congress. Why would we wish to cut money to police, or fire-fighters after all, when terrorists can supposedly strike anywhere at any given moment? Even the President isn't so foolish. Instead, he's looking for political wrangling to give him a ready made excuse for lying to the American people regarding his intentions to halve the budget deficit in this term.
"I tried to pass a sensible budget but liberals in Congress gutted it,"
The problem obviously with that logic is that liberals don't control Congress right now, and as the people feel the pinch that this budget puts on them, they will respond by making sure that detail changes. I say let the GOP add only things that benefit the wealthy and corporations. Don't let them touch the cuts. Make this the Republican Party's dream bill and watch how it turns on them. Let us soak in the austerity, in the savings as the GOP squirms trying to fend off the impending populist revolt.
And what are the savings of this budget in the end? 15 billion dollars. The President is risking his party's mandate on a 15 billion dollar bet that Americans are really stupid. There are only two ways the deficit could possibly be halved in this term and they are simple: 1 cut defense spending or 2 raise taxes. Apparently the last four years haven't been quite enough to convince the majority of the population of the GOP's intent, but give them this small dose of what they have in store and it could be devastating for the controlling party as soon as 2006. That 15 billion dollars is easily enough restored once we bring in a Congress that understands austerity has to be class neutral, and poker and public policy are not the best bedfellows.
Bran 1:03 PM : |
New York Times
The New Yorker
The Atlantic Monthly
Bloggers we like:
Baseball on Blake Street
Non Tibi Spiro
Bloggers you already know: