[Homestead] The Perpetual Bush Deficit

Tvoivozhd 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 
backfire politically.

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

More information about the Homestead mailing list