THE BUDGET….To budget blog, or not to budget blog? It’s hard to work up the energy.
What is there to say about George Bush’s latest effort, after all? It’s a grandstanding budget because it includes lots of flashy cuts that Bush knows perfectly well aren’t going to be implemented. It’s a meanspirited budget, because the cuts that will be implemented mostly strike the working poor and their children ? and don’t really have much impact on the deficit anyway. And it’s a dishonest budget because it excludes the enormous costs of Iraq, AMT reform, and Social Security transition.
So what should the liberal response be? Here’s Marshall Wittman’s suggestion:
The Moose suggests a third way for the donkey. Democrats should move to the right of the Bushies on deficit reduction. Embrace the spirit of the betrayed Republican Revolution of 1994 and call for the closing of Federal departments. The Moose suggests two Federal behemoths to put on the chopping block – the Departments of Commerce and Energy.
Commerce and Energy are the targets because they are primarily conduits for corporate welfare. Along with these two agencies, the donkey should launch an “end corporate welfare as we know it” campaign. Then, Democrats can hold news conferences at the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute and urge Republicans to join them in this great cause to cut welfare for the comfortable.
Sounds good to me. If George Bush can continually pepper his speeches with references to FDR, I guess we can make common cause with Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, and the Cato Institute.
UPDATE: Sheesh. They won’t include expenses that aren’t ironclad, but they can count a billion bucks in revenue that’s unlikely to ever see the light of day.