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Lets's talk about democracy
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Thursday, 14 October 2004

The last debate:

Bush on "Osama who?" in response to Kerry's chanrge that he said he didn't worry about Bin Laden.

Gosh, I don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. That's kind of one of those exaggerations. Of course we're worried about Osama bin Laden. We're on the hunt after Osama bin Laden. We're using every asset at our disposal to get Osama bin Laden.

Actually, according to the Post:

...in a news conference on March 13, 2002, Bush said when asked about the search for the al Qaeda leader: "So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, we haven't heard much from him. . . . And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I --I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."

Tom Shales notes:

...During otherwise adamantly pro-Bush analysis on Fox News Channel after the debate, the commentators had to agree that the record showed Bush made such a statement not just once but twice.

Bush cracks himself up:

In all due respect, I'm not so sure it - it's credible to quote leading news organizations about - oh, never mind. [Ha,ha,ha!He slays me!]

On the dangerous Canadian drugs and cheap prices he's trying to protect us from:

We're working with Canada to - hopefully they'll produce a - help us realize the vaccine necessary to make sure our citizens have got flu vaccinations during this upcoming season. [Oh, Canada]

Being lectured by the president on fiscal responsibility is a little bit like Tony Soprano talking to me about law and order in this country -John Kerry

On that subject, the Congress didn't get much done this year but they did manage to pass a huge tax cut for the big corporations.

Not that we can afford any of this. Talk about tax and spend liberal, Bush and the congressional republicans are the proverbial drunken sailors. Let's see how bad things really are, shall we?


The Washington Post says.

According to the White House budget office, about half of the change [from surplus to deficit] can be attributed to factors largely outside the president's control: recession, a weak recovery, the bursting of the stock market bubble and the unanticipated costs of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

But the other 50 percent is attributable to policy choices.

The four tax cuts account for about 30 percent of the change. The remaining 20 percent was spending, including the cost of the war in Afghanistan and the preemptive invasion of Iraq.

Since 2001, government spending has risen 23 percent, from $1.86 trillion to $2.29 trillion this year. Defense spending increased 48 percent, while non-defense spending went from $343 billion in 2001 to $436 billion, a 27 percent increase.

The Bush administration didn't just sit there and watch the deficit get wider. They actually exacerbated it," said Larry Kantor, global head of economics and market strategy at the British financial giant Barclays Capital

Foreign governments lent the Treasury $3.5 billion in 2001 and $7.1 billion in 2002. Last year, the figure soared fifteenfold, to $109 billion. Japanese reserves of U.S. Treasuries climbed from $317 billion when Bush came to office to $695 billion in July.

During the president's term, China surpassed Britain as the United States' second largest foreign lender, with its holdings more than tripling from $50 billion in December 2000 to $166 billion in July.

[Don't worry though, no worries at the Treasury Dept. Worry worts get fired. Ask Paul O'Neill]

"We're not going to tell you that we don't want to see smaller deficits," said Timothy S. Bitsberger, acting assistant Treasury secretary for financial markets. "But we see nothing in the market to suggest we're having trouble funding our deficit."

Bush has shown no sign of worry either. Since the 2003 tax cut passed, he has beaten back repeated Democratic efforts to roll back some tax cuts to pay for the war in Iraq. Earlier this year, he rebuffed demands by some moderate Republicans to offset the cost of future tax cuts with spending reductions or tax loophole closures.

His 2005 budget proposal included $1.4 trillion in additional tax-cut costs, including expansive new savings accounts that would eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest for virtually every American.

In July, when GOP leaders moved to extend expiring tax cuts for just two years to hold down the cost, the president quashed the deal, demanding a five-year extension at a cost of $146 billion. He signed the bill this week.

We're broke!

When Bush took office in January 2001, the government was forecasting a $5.6 trillion budget surplus between then and 2011. Instead, it is now expecting to accumulate an extra $3 trillion in debt -- including a record $415 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

The government has to borrow an average of more than $1.1 billion a day to pay its bills, and it spends more on interest payments on the federal debt each year -- about $159 billion -- than it does on education, homeland security, justice and law enforcement, veterans, international aid, and space exploration combined. [Talk about a "tax gap"]

No really, we're broke.

The White House has ordered draft budgets for 2006 that would cut spending on homeland security, veterans affairs and education, according to White House documents.

Corporate give away.

The latest tax cut which even Treasury Secretary John Snow has said is a bad idea Bush is sharpening up his pen to sign.

Again the Post:

...critics -- including budget watchdogs and liberal activists -- decried what they saw as a cornucopia of special-interest tax cuts that would complicate the tax code, favor companies doing business overseas and ultimately worsen the budget deficit.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) pronounced it "disgraceful" and "a classic example of the special interests prevailing over the people's interest."

The centerpiece tax cut -- worth $76.5 billion over 10 years -- provides tax deductions that would effectively lower the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 32 percent for U.S. "producers," defined broadly to include traditional manufacturers, Hollywood studios [Grover Norquist put the kybash on that. See K-Street Project], architectural and engineering firms, home builders, and oil and gas drillers, among others.

Beyond those centerpieces are hundreds of smaller measures that benefit restaurant owners and Hollywood producers; makers of bows, arrows and sonar fish finders; NASCAR track owners; and importers of Chinese ceiling fans.

General Electric alone could reap tax breaks measured in billions from two provisions: One, costing $7.9 billion over 10 years, that would allow companies with large overseas manufacturing and financial services operations to mingle subsidiary profits for tax purposes, and another that would reduce taxation by $995 million over 10 years on income from shipping and the leasing of aircraft.

Posted by bushmeister0 at 5:01 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 October 2004 5:26 PM EDT
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