Friday, May 23, 2003

Some instructive reading in the Wall Street Journal today concerning Bush’s latest multi-billion dollar tax cut package.
The lead story makes the point that the tax cut “will likely provide a significant boost to the tepid U.S. economy, but at a potentially significant long-term cost.”
So short-term gain and long-term pain. So what exactly does that mean?
“It should boost consumer incomes and thus spending, encourage business investment and could lift stock prices...” but at the cost of “... driving up deficits and therefore long-term interest rates, and widening the gap between rich and poor.”

So Bush is willing to sacrifice the long-term health of our country in order to gain a temporary short-term boost to help with his re-election effort.

But there is more... The $350 billion price tag on the tax package is really an illusion pieced together with smoke and mirror accounting gimmicks...

“The true price tag would balloon to more than $800 billion if various temporary provisions are extended...”

The article goes on to spell out in very blatant terms about Bush’s true intentions for the tax cut...

“Mr. Bush is particularly eager to lift the economy and investors’ spirits before he has to face the voters in November 2004 — and avoid the election result his father suffered after winning a war with Iraq but letting the economy slide.”

Ah, but the difference here is that the economy has already slid long before the most recent Iraq war. Bush lied about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein (his elusive weapons of mass destruction and non-existent nukes) in order to distract the public’s attention away from the economic mess on the homefront. His first big tax cut a year ago failed to provide any economic relief or job growth and instead served to sap away the budget surplus built up over the Clinton years and return the nation to huge deficits and a mounting debt burden.

A separate story on the front the the WSJ today makes this intriguing statement...

“As a former business executive, (Bush’s) instincts told him the economy needed some aid and he resolved to give it the largest dose possible.”

They failed to mention that Bush, the former business executive, ran each and every one of his companies into the ground and had to be bailed out each time by his Daddy’s wealthy friends. Please note that these wealthy friends did not bail out George’s companies necessarily, just George himself.
And now the process is repeating itself. Bush has effectively run the nation’s economy into the ground and now these same wealthy individuals are trying to bail him out - not by helping the country, but by helping Bush. Bush just the other day raised another $22 million at a campaign fund raiser.

By the way, aren’t Bush’s instincts a little dull if he is just now figuring out that the economy needs some aid?

There is more good stuff inside the WSJ today... In particular an article headlined “Get Ready for Era of Budget Deficits”

“The compromise 2003 tax bill would usher in a new era of federal budget deficits as far as the eye can see - especially if politicians, as expected, ultimately refuse to go along with an accounting gimmick that calls on key provisions to expire after a few years.”
“Even without the proposed tax cut, the Treasury’s ledgers would have been written in red ink through at least 2007, according to government estimates, thanks to the slowing economy, the war against terrorism and the first two tax cuts under President Bush.”

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