Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, is complaining about "sticker shock" when it comes to President Bush's new almost-$3 trillion budget. Yet there should be absolutely no sticker shock at all....Bush is the biggest spender in the modern era. He makes Bill Clinton look like a miser... and that's one of the reasons the Republicans no longer control the congress.
And yet the media will focus on the wrong things. Just to debunk a few media myths here...the first is the deficit. Bush is pushing the idea of eliminating the deficit in 5 years, parroting the Democrats' plan. For the uninformed, the deficit is how much more the government spends each year than it takes in. The deficit should be eliminated in one year. But somehow taking 5 years to stop overspending is an achievement. Will the trillions flowing into the U.S. Treasury thanks to a booming economy, balancing the budget should be a piece of cake. It should be said, however, that the deficit is a much smaller percentage of our overall budget than it was during much of the last thirty years ... but we're still spending more than we take in.
Second, this nonsense about "paying for" tax cuts is another liberal media fantasy. Tax cuts don't "cost" money. The proof is clear -- the numbers are there -- tax cuts actually lead to increased federal revenues. The left knows, however, that raising taxes on the rich sounds wonderful to their core constituency ... thus the rhetoric.
And lastly, don't believe for a minute that there are any cuts in the federal budget. There is no such thing as a cut in a federal program...only a reduction in the spending growth. So if you planned on spending $10 billion more on a federal program next year, but decide to only spend $8 billion more, that's somehow seen as a $2 billion "cut." Welcome to the fuzzy math of Washington D.C., but somehow they get away with it.
But don't worry....if you're concerned about the deficit or the size of the federal budget, Democrats want to help. In order to "pay for" Bush's tax cuts, they're all too happy to raise your taxes. Remember...in 2007 when it comes to politicians, there is no difference in spending between Republicans and Democrats. The difference is in how they finance their spending binges. Democrats tax and Republicans borrow. So basically either you pay or your kids will pay. Some choice.
One Democratic presidential candidate has made it very clear how he would pay for his spending: taxes, taxes and more taxes -- but only on the rich. Speaking on the issue, John Edwards...who was The Poodle's running made in 2004 (not to be confused with The Poodle's keeper,) says he would tax the rich to pay for his spending proposals, including a grandiose plan for socialized medicine The Trial Lawyer says to cover his health care plan, he'd repeal George W. Bush's tax cuts for people over $200,000.
Then, he'd tax capital gains. Edwards complains that brokerage houses aren't accurately reporting people's capital gains. This is a ripe area for class warfare rhetoric. Democrats can convince their followers that only the rich have enough money to invest, and thus only the rich have capital gains ... so let's tax 'em more!