[Homestead] The Perpetual Bush Deficit
tvoivozd at infionline.net
Thu Sep 30 20:05:20 EDT 2004
Tax cuts account for 29 percent of the swing from surpluses to deficits
over the past three years, according to White House budget documents.
tvoivozhd---everyone knows that, Bush knows that, but he really, really
wants to transfer the tax load from the rich to my grandkids who are
just starting to earn a living (Bush never did that), and will have to
pay for the crushing debt Bush dumped on them. Dirty Bastard.h
*GOP Drops Work on Balanced Budget*
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 30, 2004; Page A23
The timing seemed a bit discordant last week, when the House Judiciary
Committee began considering a constitutional amendment to balance the
budget, just as Congress moved to pass its fourth tax cut in as many years.
A week later, the committee has not finished its work on the
legislation, and the GOP House leadership has decided to drop the issue
indefinitely, fearing that any spotlight on the burgeoning deficit would
The balanced budget amendment was a cornerstone of the Republicans'
"Contract With America" 10 years ago, and halting efforts to resurrect
it has underscored party divisions over a budget deficit that will reach
$422 billion this year.
Last year, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) promised Rep. Ernest
J. Istook Jr. (R-Okla.) a vote on the amendment before the House
adjourns for the 2004 elections. But before DeLay could push an
amendment to a House vote, Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James
Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) demanded that his panel draft the legislation
Last Wednesday's drafting session turned into a fiasco, members from
both parties said. Democrats ridiculed the GOP majority, which has
controlled Congress and the White House for most of the past four years
while record budget surpluses turned to record deficits. Even some
Republicans conceded that their hearts were not in it. Rep. Jeff Flake
(R-Ariz.) said he had not taken it "as a very serious discussion."
"We can limit [deficits] on our own," said Flake, a Judiciary Committee
member. "We in Congress ought to be embarrassed by what has happened. We
ought to be ashamed of ourselves."
After the committee broke up for a vote on the House floor, only a few
members bothered to straggle back. Without a quorum to complete the
legislation, the committee adjourned. Now, Sensenbrenner has decided
that the panel has other priorities, according to committee spokesman
Jeff E. Lundgren.
"I'm not optimistic we'll get back to it, given the limited amount of
time left and the members' other priorities," he said.
Deficit hawks were amazed that the GOP even tried, after Congress had
squandered a $236 billion surplus recorded in 2000. Since 2001, overall
government spending has risen 23 percent. Defense spending at Congress's
discretion has increased 48 percent, while non-defense spending has
jumped 27 percent. Meantime, taxes have been cut four times, at a price
tag of $1.9 trillion over 10 years. House and Senate negotiators began
work yesterday on a major corporate tax cut that could be wrapped up by
the end of next week.
"The idea that the balanced budget amendment could even be taken up by
the Judiciary Committee almost defies description," steamed Stanley E.
Collender, a federal budget analyst at Financial Dynamics Business
Communications. "The cynicism in the whole effort is just astounding."
But Istook strongly defended the push. He said it could still come up
for a House vote when Congress returns for a lame-duck session after the
elections. The spending growth of the past three years shows that
Congress needs to be constrained by constitutional limits on its power
of the purse, he said.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
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