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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The post-modern President

Back in early 2001, President George W. Bush used to say stuff like this a lot:
A priority of mine in my budget will be paying down national debt. And yet, after setting priorities, there's still money left over.... I'm asking Congress to pass $1.6 trillion in tax relief, after we've met priorities. That's over a 10-year period of time....It's your money.
In 2001, Bush had inherited a $230 billion budget surplus.

So, he gave it back to the people.

December, 2005, same guy:
We've been wise with your money, as well. Each year I've been in office, we've cut the rate of growth in non-security discretionary spending. We're on track to reach our goal of cutting the budget deficit in half by 2009. Thanks to tax relief, and spending restraint, and pro-growth economic policies, this economy is strong, businesses are booming, and the people in this country are working. (Applause.) See, we can't take this growth for granted. So we're moving forward with a comprehensive agenda that's going to keep the economy growing to make sure people have got a hopeful future. Keeping this economy growing begins with a commitment to keeping your taxes low, and at the same time being wise about how we spend your money.

Unfortunately, just as we're seeing the evidence of how our tax cuts have helped the economy, we're hearing some voices in Washington that want to raise your taxes. The tax relief we set -- that we delivered is set to expire in a couple of years. In other words, it's not permanent -- it can go away. And unless Congress acts, you're going to get a big tax hike when that happens....

Our approach on spending is clear: Working families have to set priorities for their spending, and so should the federal government. Unfortunately, we have too many politicians back in Washington who preach fiscal discipline while voting against spending cuts -- and too many who think the only answer for runaway spending is to raise your taxes. My solution is to keep your taxes low and to be fiscally sound about how we use your money....
Fiscally sound?

The current annual budget deficit exceeds $300 billion. The Congressional Budget Office doesn't anticipate any reduction in that total until 2011...just after the tax cuts expire.

According to the conservative Independent Institute, federal spending since 2001 has increased almost 20%. Non-defense discretionary spending has increased 25%.

President Bush has never used his veto power, so every congressional spending measure has been at least tacitly approved by his administration.

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