Monday, February 4, 2008

Deficit thinking

One day someone is going to have to explain how Republicans, particularly President Bush, have the reputation of being fiscally conservative while governing the country into massive budget deficits. Of course, we're talking about the proposed $3.1 trillion budget for 2009 that Bush introduced today, a spending plan sure to increase the nation's budget shortfall by hundreds of billions of dollars this year and next. Bush proposes boosting defense spending and cutting Medicare costs next year while cutting taxes this year in an effort to boost the economy. The White House acknowledged that the budget does not include the actual cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which will probably add at least $400 billion to the deficit in the next 23 months. "We've made a determination to drive up the deficit in order to stimulate the economy," Jim Nussle, Bush's budget director, told the Chicago Tribune. "I'd much rather work with a balanced budget ... but I also would much rather make sure that our country is protected." The White House acknowledges that the accumulated national debt will rise to over $10 trillion by next year. It was $5.77 trillion at the end of Bush's first year in office.

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