Monday, February 02, 2004

Bush's busted budget

When President Bush took office three years ago, the Congessional Budget Office (CBO) was estimating the country would accumulate a surplus of $5 trillion by 2011. Today, the CBO is predicting a budget deficit of $4.3 trillion by 2011. That is a difference of $9.3 trillion - a remarkable testament to President Bush's fiscal leadership. (Thanks to Center for American Progress for the figures.)

Bush's latest budget has a $521 billion deficit. And that is only if we pull all of our troops out of Iraq by the end of September because Bush provides no funding in his budget beyond that point.

Bush makes the laughable claim that we can half the deficit by 2009 by curtailing non-defense and non-homeland security spending. But that only makes up about 18 percent of the total budget pie. And these programs include health research, education, housing, law enforcement, the State Department, environmental restoration and veterans programs. Is that where Bush plans to make all of his cuts?

The real problem of course is Bush's massive tax give away to the rich. By making these irresponsible tax cuts permanent, Bush would ensure that the federal government will be completely bankrupt after he leaves office - something the radical right would no doubt like to see happen.

Possibly the funniest thing in the Bush budget is his decision to give a paltry $18 million increase to the National Endowment for the Arts, something that has greatly upset some of his far-right supporters here in the blogosphere.

Owen Courreges digs up some of the NEA's greatest hits to express his outrage. It's funny how conservatives' obsession with these images has given them a hundred times more exposure than all of the other non-offenisve art sponsored by the NEA combined.

Owen at Boots and
feels compelled to restate why he is still a devout Bush acolyte in spite of Bush's "abysmal failure" at shrinking the size of government.

And then there is Joe Kelley at The Sake Of Argument who has gone so far as to say that he will not cast another vote for this RINO (Republican in name only) president in response to the NEA funding increase.

I certainly hope this is a trend that will keep growing.

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