Can anyone cite me a single example where the Bush White House ever projected deficits accurately or conservatively during their years in office? These are the same people who said after 9/11 that they expected to run deficits, yes, but that they would only last a few years, and that we'd have a surplus in 2005.
"Deficits should not and do not have to last much longer than a few years." - House Budget Chairman Jim Nussle, R-Iowa, Nov. 2001
Infact, a Washington Post article from February 2002 made it clear that the White House was being dishonest about the deficit.
"The administration predicts the budget will return to a small surplus in 2005. But that assumes that Congress agrees to the very tight caps on spending proposed for domestic programs not connected to defense or homeland security. The Congressional Budget Office, which last week released its own detailed estimates, suggests that if non-defense spending keeps growing at the same 7.6 percent rate of the past four years, then surpluses won't reappear at all for rest of the decade."
And even the Washington Post story assumed the economy would recover... which it didn't. Quite the opposite.
The Republicans are now predicting a completely unrealistic rate of economic growth that will make the deficit disappear all by itself, with no hardship, no fiscal discipline, and no sacrifices. This must be part of Bush's "vision for America". Where's our 2005 surplus, Mr. Bush? If we have a surplus, can we have more tax cuts... maybe this time one aimed at people who *aren't* rich?
"What we've got now is a president of the United States who is actively misleading the American people on the financial condition of the country. Shame on him." - Senator Kent Conrad (ND), top Democrat on the Senate Budget Committee, 2004.
Republicans are trying to say that this dip in our economic figures is the result of the traditional "Summer slowdown" that is seen in the economy every year, but fail to point out that the months that the figures were for were the months of April-June, and not those of July-September... truth is, Summer stats are likely to look just as bad -- if not worse -- as increases in the price of oil and in interest rates will further slow the economy.
So, when the Bush adminstration predicts an enormous, record-setting $445 Billion deficit in an election year, based on their track record for honesty and fiscal discipline, all I can assume is that the real situation is far, far worse than they would have us believe. The Bush administration has dug us into such a deep hole, we very well might not see the end of it until we have an Edwards/Obama administration in the White House.
(Yes, I said Obama. And you can consider that an endorsement, if you would like.)