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Thread: BMD

  1. #1
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    [quote][b]Budgets of Mass Destruction
    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

    Published: February 1, 2004

    It should be clear to all by now that what we have in the Bush team is a faith-based administration. It launched a faith-based war in Iraq, on the basis of faith-based intelligence, with a faith-based plan for Iraqi reconstruction, supported by faith-based tax cuts to generate faith-based revenues. This group believes that what matters in politics and economics are conviction and will — not facts, social science or history.

    Personally, I don't believe the Bush team will pay a long-term political price for its faith-based intelligence about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Too many Americans, including me, believe in their guts that removing Saddam was the right thing to do, even if the W.M.D. intel was wrong.

    The Bush team's real vulnerability is its B.M.D. — Budgets of Mass Destruction, which have recklessly imperiled the nation's future, with crazy tax-cutting and out-of-control spending. The latest report from the Congressional Budget Office says the deficit is expected to total some $2.4 trillion over the next decade — almost $1 trillion more than the prediction of just five months ago. That is a failure of intelligence and common sense that threatens to make us all insecure — and people also feel that in their guts.

    As Peter Peterson, the former Nixon commerce secretary and a longtime courageous advocate of fiscal responsibility, puts it in "Running on Empty," his forthcoming book: "In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan galvanized the American electorate with that famous riff: `I want to ask every American: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?' Perhaps some future-oriented presidential candidate should rephrase this line as follows: `I want to ask every American, young people especially: Is your future better off now than it was four years ago — now that you are saddled with these large new liabilities and the higher taxes that must eventually accompany them?' "

    While in his book Mr. Peterson equally indicts Democrats and Republicans as co-conspirators in the fiscal follies of our times, the Democrats should still follow his lead and make this their campaign mantra: "Is your future better off now than it was four years ago?" That's what's on people's minds. It should be coupled with the bumper sticker: "Read My Lips: No New Services. Bush Gave All the Money Away." And it should be backed up with a responsible Democratic alternative on both taxes and spending.

    That is the only way to expose what the shameful coalition of Karl Rove-led cynics, who care only about winning the next election; voodoo economists preaching supply-side economics; and libertarian nuts who think that by cutting tax revenues you'll shrink the government — when all you do is balloon the deficit — is doing to our future. [b]And please don't tell me the tax cuts are working. Of course they're working! If you put this much stimulus into our economy — three tax cuts, loose monetary policy and out-of-control spending — it will produce a boom. Eat 10 chocolate bars at once and you'll also get a rush. But at what long-term cost?[/b]

    "Quite simply," argues Mr. Peterson, "those bell-bottomed young boomers of the 1960's have fully matured. The oldest of them, born in 1946, are only six years away from the median age of retirement on Social Security (63). As a result, our large pension and health care benefit programs will soon experience rapidly accelerating benefit outlays. . . . Thus, at a time when the federal government should be building up surpluses to prepare for the aging of the baby boom generation, it is engaged in another reckless experiment with large and permanent tax cuts. America cannot grow its way out of the kinds of long-term deficits we now face. . . . The odds are growing that today's ballooning trade and fiscal deficits, the so-called twin deficits, will someday trigger an explosion that causes the economy to sink — not rise."

    The same Bush folks who assured us Saddam had W.M.D. now assure us these budgets of mass destruction don't matter. Sure. "During the Vietnam War," notes Mr. Peterson, "conservatives relentlessly pilloried Lyndon Johnson for his fiscal irresponsibility. But he only wanted guns and butter. Today, so-called conservatives are out-pandering L.B.J. They must have it all: guns, butter and tax cuts."

    This is so irresponsible and it will end in tears. [b]Remember, says Mr. Peterson, long-term tax cuts without long-term spending cuts are not tax cuts. They are "tax deferrals" — with the burden to be borne by your future or your kid's future.[/b]

    If this isn't the election issue, I don't know what is. [/b][/quote]

  2. #2
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    Agreed.

  3. #3
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    And you guys believe a democrat in charge would not run up the same or higher deficit because...?

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    Weeb -

    That's not really the point. Besides, the Dems would at least raise taxes to curb the deficit. Deficits don't scare me that much...they are misunderstood and manipulated by parties all the time. But if your question is as narrow as higher or lower deficits, than yes, most of the Dems would lower the deficit simply by raising taxes. Also, relative to Bush, Howard Dean is actually talking about fiscal restraint. He's really the only one who is talking that way. Bush [i]talks[/i] about it too, except his veto pen is apparently out of ink.

    Bottom line - If you cut taxes, you need to also cut spending! It's no secret!

  5. #5
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Feb 2 2004, 02:07 PM
    [b] Weeb -

    That's not really the point. Besides, the Dems would at least raise taxes to curb the deficit. Deficits don't scare me that much...they are misunderstood and manipulated by parties all the time.

    What does scare me the overall fiscal irresponsibility. If you cut taxes, you need to cut spending! It's no secret! [/b][/quote]
    5ever

    What band is that in your Avatar?

  6. #6
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    That's the Pixies, best band ever!

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Spirit of Weeb[/i]@Feb 2 2004, 02:01 PM
    [b] And you guys believe a democrat in charge would not run up the same or higher deficit because...? [/b][/quote]
    Because, when Clinton was president, the deficit went down. WAY down.

  8. #8
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Bob the Jets Fan™+Feb 3 2004, 08:28 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Bob the Jets Fan™ @ Feb 3 2004, 08:28 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--Spirit of Weeb[/i]@Feb 2 2004, 02:01 PM
    [b] And you guys believe a democrat in charge would not run up the same or higher deficit because...? [/b][/quote]
    Because, when Clinton was president, the deficit went down. WAY down. [/b][/quote]
    A lot of that had to do with the internet boom and the GOP-controlled Congress. Spending increased (although not defense spending or military intelligence spending) along with taxes under Clinton.

    But, even considering all of that, the thrust of your point is correct - discretionary spending under Clinton did not increase at a rate even approaching Bush&#39;s.

    The problem is that now BOTH parties are essentially expensive. Words cannot even describe how pissed off I am at Bush right now...but this is a decent start:

    [url=http://www.nationalreview.com/moore/moore200402020906.asp]http://www.nationalreview.com/moore/moore2...00402020906.asp[/url]

  9. #9
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    5ever, is it my imagination, or are you guys getting ready to throw Bush under the bus?

    I mean, regular guys like you are expressing disgust with the guy, Limbaugh launches a tirade against him on his show, and now GOP congressmen are among those demanding inquiries into the WMD fiasco.

    It almost looks like you&#39;re ready to accept a Democratic president for four years while you work on boosting a guy you like better.

    Has Dubya worn out his welcome with the GOP? I ALWAYS believed that he would have had opposition from within the party this year if it were not for the 9/11/01 attacks.

  10. #10
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    Bob-

    You are exactly right. I am a conservative guy who generally votes GOP (Although I did not vote for Bush in 2000...I voted for Buchanon, more of a F-U to the GOP than a pro-Patty vote - the GOP&#39;s handling of the Clinton impeachment was IMO disgraceful and wasteful and trivialized a serious law and helped to lower the climate of political debate in this country).

    Yes, I am [b]unbelievably[/b] pissed at Bush. I think he is alientating his base more than he or Rove or Cheney realize. This election will come down to several things: The all-important and vaguely defined "undecideds" and which party&#39;s base is more energized. The Dem base is extremely energized, the GOP base, IMO, is slipping and it is 100% due to Bush&#39;s fiscal irresponsibility, blatant pandering, short-sighted policy and his complete divorce from true conservative, small government principles.

    There are more important things in this world than George Bush&#39;s political career. If he has to turn in to [b]this [/b]to win, what is the [b]cost[/b] of victory and is it worth this price? (Pun VERY MUCH intended)

  11. #11
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    [quote][b]Yes, I am unbelievably pissed at Bush. I think he is alientating his base more than he or Rove or Cheney realize.[/b][/quote]

    I wish all conservatives could atleast look objectivly at the facts. I think I can change CBNY ;)

  12. #12
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    there is an undercurrent in the conservative base... unfortunately no Bush supporter in their right mind would ever throw him under a bus for Kerry. and Bush knows that.

    Kerry&#39;s record is so ridiculously liberal... no way he pulls in the swing voters. He&#39;s essentially George Bush but from MA and Liberal. Both Yale Billionares, washington insider types each with their own repugant hanger&#39;s on...

    don&#39;t get me wrong i&#39;d vote for my neighbor&#39;s dog before i voted for Bush... but i don&#39;t see John Kerry posing a real threat.

    the GOP is laying off him cause they are more scared of edwards and clark... any attack on Kerry would open the door to the Southern everyman (read: electable) candidate.

    a Mass Billionare WASH insider is just good enough to lose. Can&#39;t believe that the media have rushed to annoint this man the DEM candidate... electability is key and as this next set of primarys will show- He will win Missouri just cause the gephardt contingent is shell shocked... but Kerry won&#39;t appeal to voters in states where other candidates have been campaigning, like So Car, OK and AZ.

    ps- look for Rove and cronies to throw CHENEY under a bus. That man&#39;s approval rating is in the 20&#39;s and he is a blight on the campaign. Watch them bring in a ringer like Guliani... that Rove is a bastard... like Bill Bellichek he&#39;s a bastard but knows how to win...

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