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Thread: The sad truth

  1. #1
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    [b]Can anyone give me comfort that Bush will grow some fiscal responsibility in a second term?

    I'm serious. Talk about a party moving away from it's base. Bush has to stop pandering to the 'middle' (really the left).[/b]
    [url=http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ed...n_big_spenders/]http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ed...n_big_spenders/[/url]

    FOR FISCAL conservatives, the choice this election could hardly be more depressing.
    In the Republicans' corner is George W. Bush, who presides over the most bloated federal budget in US history. Bush's profligacy has left in tatters the traditional GOP claim to fiscal rectitude. He has uncomplainingly signed into law every pork-stuffed appropriations bill sent to him by Congress. He has flooded the government's books with red ink. And he has embraced new schemes for draining the Treasury, including the largest expansion of the welfare state in decades.
    When, from the Democrats' corner, John F. Kerry excoriates Bush for "three years of reckless spending and skyrocketing deficits" and declares that what America needs is "a return to the fiscal discipline that brought record surpluses and the largest economic expansion since World War II," he speaks nothing but the unadorned truth. But candidate Kerry doesn't preach fiscal discipline very often, and there is no reason to believe that a President Kerry would practice it.
    The Democratic standard-bearer has committed himself to dozens of costly campaign promises -- everything from expanded Amtrak service in rural areas to a new program for preventing childhood obesity to $50 billion in additional aid to the states. According to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, Kerry's budget proposals would add a breath-catching $226 billion to the federal budget in the first year of his presidency. Over a four-year term, they would cost more than $621 billion -- a tab that would have to be paid either with steep new taxes or by taking the government even more deeply into debt.
    The 2004 presidential race pits a big-spending Republican Tweedledee against a big-spending Democratic Tweedledum. What's a fiscally responsible voter to do?
    Bush promises to cut the budget deficit in half by the end of 2008; Kerry promises the same thing. Bush says he'll do it by "holding the line on federal spending"; Kerry by "restraining spending growth." (Even their cliches are interchangeable.) What both are really counting on is economic growth: The Congressional Budget Office is already projecting a nearly 50 percent drop in the deficit by 2008 even if nothing else changes at all.
    Still, there is at least one significant fiscal policy difference between the president and his challenger. Bush strongly defends the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and has been urging Congress to make them permanent. Kerry denounces Bush's "tax cuts for the wealthy" and says he would seek to restore the old tax rates for incomes higher than $200,000.
    The idea that tax cuts cause unbalanced federal budgets comes right from the Democratic song sheet. But is it true? If, as Kerry promises/threatens, the tax relief of high-income Americans were repealed, would the deficit melt away? Economists at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation recently ran the numbers.
    They began by calculating the effect of restoring the top two income tax rates (now 35 percent and 33 percent) to their pre-Bush levels of 39.6 percent and 36 percent, and of once again double-taxing the dividends of upper-income taxpayers. That would bring in $27 billion, reducing this year's deficit of $477 billion by less than 6 percent. Deficit remaining: $450 billion.
    So the Tax Foundation went further. It assumed that anyone with dividends or capital gains qualifies as "wealthy" and restored the old tax rates on those earnings for all brackets. That would reduce the red ink by another 4 percent, to $430 billion.
    In short, overturning all of the Bush tax relief for "the wealthy" would reduce the deficit by a mere 10 percent.
    Well, what if all the old income tax rates were restored to their pre-Bush levels, and the new 10 percent bracket for low-income workers eliminated? That would painfully squeeze millions of middle- and working-class Americans, but it would enrich the Treasury by $70 billion. The deficit would then be down to $360 billion -- 75 percent of where it stands now.
    Finally, the economists calculated the impact of going whole hog -- restoring the marriage penalty, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax adjustment, and lowering the child credit from $1,000 back to $500. Wiping out the Bush tax cuts in their entirety would raise a grand total of $164 billion -- enough to cut the current deficit by only a third.
    "Bottom line," the foundation's Scott Hodge and J. Scott Moody conclude, "if our goal is to cut the deficit through higher taxes, there is very little blood left in the stone of individual income."
    Bush's tax cuts aren't driving the deficit. Bush's reckless expenditures -- for which John Kerry, as a member of Congress, is partly responsible -- are. The only way to stanch the red ink is to choke off extravagant federal spending. Alas, that is the one thing that neither has any intention of doing.
    Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is [email]jacoby@globe.com[/email].

  2. #2
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    Government spending has become troublesome. I don't see Bush improving in that area in any significant way. The best I could say in that regard is that he'd still be better than Kerry.

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    Piper, this is the same argument I have with Riggins about immigration. If spending is your major pet peeve, you've got to ask yourself which side will spend more. And additionally, what will they spend our hard earned tax money on -- defense or endless social programs?

    That's why tax cuts are so important -- eventually, it will force the government to spend wisely and create priorities -- like you and I when we make the choice between a set income and a credit card charging spree.

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    heres the difference Piper

    with George Bush you know what you are gonna get - more of the same, and with no re-election looming over a second term, he can go hog wild

    Kerry is a more fiscally responsible candidate for one main reason:

    with a GOP congress and a Dem President there will definately be vetos. Democratic cockamamie schemes get shot dead in the water and that will continue to occue but now When the GOP congress comes up with a cockamamie plan to fund celebacy programs for example, that stuff will be sent right back where it came from. Tension between executive and legislative branches is a good thing.

    5ever admitted the above just the other day...

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    Wrong bitonti.

    Clinton, whether to keep his job or because he was constrained by Congress, realized early on that whacked out liberal spending schemes like Hillary Care were a bad idea. Now may be Kerry pulls the same fiscal sanity rountine, but he isn't talking that way.In fact, he's talking about "jobs programs" which are frankly useless crap, money down a rathole, never to be seen again. And the people he would put in charge of the Treasury aren't going to be Robert Rubin Wall Streeters. In a sense, I had more confidence in Rubin than I do in the Bush team. Dare I praise Clinton again? As a governor form a working class background, he was practical in economics.

    Kerry has had a silver spoon in his mouth since birth, believes in internationalist gibberish and has never had to run anything more complicated than his first date with a prospective fiscally well-endowed spouse. Bush at least had been a governor of a large state. Senators no matter what party are mostly showhorses with egos, and Kerry's ego is BIG. He has NO CLUE at all how to run things. Simply, there'a real chance that the benign neglect of the Bush team is still far preferable to the "I'm from the government, and I'm here to eff it all up" bunch Kerry would bring in.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Spirit of Weeb[/i]@Jul 23 2004, 02:56 PM
    [b] That's why tax cuts are so important -- eventually, it will force the government to spend wisely and create priorities -- like you and I when we make the choice between a set income and a credit card charging spree. [/b][/quote]
    I'm all for tax cuts. When they also come with spending cuts. But combined with:

    [quote][b]In the Republicans' corner is George W. Bush, who presides over the most bloated federal budget in US history. Bush's profligacy has left in tatters the traditional GOP claim to fiscal rectitude. He has uncomplainingly signed into law every pork-stuffed appropriations bill sent to him by Congress. He has flooded the government's books with red ink. And he has embraced new schemes for draining the Treasury, including the largest expansion of the welfare state in decades.[/b][/quote]

    That's worrisome. You say the government will be forced to spend wisely - its been four years of spending - where's the evidence its going to get better? Cutting taxes and increasing spending is a dangerous game. And yes, I know Kerry will be worse. Doesn't mean we have to grin and bear it.

  7. #7
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    bugg the point isn't what Bush would do compared to what kerry would do the point is with a GOP president and a GOP congress there are no checks and balances - that's the problem.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Jul 23 2004, 04:46 PM
    [b] heres the difference Piper

    with George Bush you know what you are gonna get - more of the same, and with no re-election looming over a second term, he can go hog wild

    Kerry is a more fiscally responsible candidate for one main reason:

    with a GOP congress and a Dem President there will definately be vetos. Democratic cockamamie schemes get shot dead in the water and that will continue to occue but now When the GOP congress comes up with a cockamamie plan to fund celebacy programs for example, that stuff will be sent right back where it came from. Tension between executive and legislative branches is a good thing.

    5ever admitted the above just the other day... [/b][/quote]
    More baloney.

    This congress is split and you know it. Any bill that leans right is held up by those who cross the aisle. This congress has been one of the least productive in history. Why would that be if the GOP could ram anything they want through?

    If what you say is true any bills with pork in them for NY or CA would be DOA.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Piper[/i]@Jul 23 2004, 06:01 PM
    [b] More baloney.

    This congress is split and you know it. [/b][/quote]
    the congress is not split - only crazy issues like gay marriage ammendment get crossovers - most of the time the GOP gets what it wants

  10. #10
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti+Jul 23 2004, 10:00 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (bitonti @ Jul 23 2004, 10:00 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--Piper[/i]@Jul 23 2004, 06:01 PM
    [b] More baloney.

    This congress is split and you know it. [/b][/quote]
    the congress is not split - only crazy issues like gay marriage ammendment get crossovers - most of the time the GOP gets what it wants [/b][/quote]
    Yeah, the GOP is really getting what it wants:

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a former Interior Department official who once worked for mining and cattle interests from becoming a federal appeals judge, using the debate to criticize President Bush&#39;s environmental record.

    The Senate&#39;s majority Republicans were unable to muster the 60 votes needed for the confirmation of William Myers for the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The final vote was 53-44, making Myers the seventh Bush judicial nominee to be stopped by Senate Democrats.

    Senate Democrats used procedural votes last week to block Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Henry Saad, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Richard Griffin and U.S. District Court Judge David McKeague from seats on the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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