The Administration would have you believe that the $400 billion deficit the U.S. will have this year is because of Hurricane Katrina clean-up.
Reports the Chicago Tribune (reg.req.):
Even with December's surplus, experts are predicting that the budget deficit for this year could well surge above $400 billion, reflecting increased government spending to help with reconstruction efforts in hurricane-ravaged states along the Gulf Coast.
Katrina clean-up accounts for, oh, $1 billion—0.25%—of the deficit. The other $399 billion comes from a deliberate sequence of ideologically-driven tax cuts that have (a) left the Federal government vastly under-funded, which (b) is what the Administration wanted in the first place.
The Tribune goes on directly:
President Bush has vowed to cut the deficit in half by 2009 and still preserve the tax cuts he pushed through Congress in his first term.
I don't need Anne's math degree to find fault with that goal.
Let's review the Administration's record:
- The GOP cuts taxes severely.
- The GOP cuts spending on Federal programs (FEMA? CDC?) and staffs them with incompetent flunkies.
- The programs fail miserably.
- The GOP claims that, because the programs are failing miserably, the programs and the taxes that fund them should be cut further.
- Rinse and repeat.
This is the program outlined by Grover Norquist and his homeys almost 25 years ago.
Happy New Election Year, folks.