The President’s Budget And Other “Conservative” Observations

Posted in Around The Nation, Bad Government Republicans, Commentary, District 31, HD-52, The Budget, The Economy, The War at 10:23 am by wcnews

The President released his last budget, aka shell game. This lame duck budget is bringing us closer to what Paul Kennedy described in his book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers:

Once their productive capacity [is] enhanced, countries…normally find it easier to sustain the burdens of paying for large-scale armaments in peacetime and of maintaining and supplying large armies and fleets in wartime. It sounds crudely mercantilistic to express it this way, but wealth is usually needed to acquire and protect wealth. If, however, too large a portion of the state’s resources is diverted from wealth creation and allocated instead to military purposes, then that is likely to lead to a weakening of national power over the longer term. In the same way, if a state overextends itself strategically-by, say, the conquest of extensive territories or the waging of costly wars-it runs the risk that the potential benefits from external expansion may be outweighed by the great expense of it all-a dilemma which becomes acute if the nation concerned has entered a period of relative economic decline.

Keep that in mind while reading this, Bush spending plan would leave near-record deficit.

President Bush, facing his final go-around on spending with a Democratic-run Congress during this presidential election year, on Monday unveiled a $3.1 trillion budget for 2009 that boosts defense spending and pares Medicare costs while leaving a near-record deficit.

It is unlikely that Bush will win all of what he is seeking in the budget, with Republicans and Democrats grappling for control of the White House. However, the president and Congress already are moving toward agreement on a tax-relief plan to stimulate the economy — and that is certain to sharply increase a federal budget deficit that had fallen from a record high in 2004.

“We’ve made a determination to drive up the deficit in order to stimulate the economy,” said Jim Nussle, Bush’s budget director. “I’d much rather work with a balanced budget … but I also would much rather make sure that our country is protected.”

The spending plan proposed by the White House envisions a 7.5 percent boost in defense spending, while acknowledging that the full costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not included.

It’s obvious where the president’s allegiances lie. He’ll run up a deficit for defense corporations and war but when it comes to health care for the children, the elderly, and the poor, he’ll slash that without thinking twice. As for our Congressman he thinks it’s a good start.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, said, “The budget released by the president today is a good starting point for a bipartisan discussion that should balance the budget by keeping taxes low and wasteful government spending in check.”

I’m not sure what budget he’s reading. You can read much more about what a lame duck budget proposal really is at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), they’ve written this analysis, The Dubious Priorities of the President’s Budget.

The President’s budget would provide more tax cuts heavily skewed to the most well-off while cutting vital services for low- and moderate-income Americans, generating large deficits, and increasing the strain on states already confronting budget problems as a result of the economic downturn. The budget reflects misguided priorities that would leave the American people more vulnerable in a number of ways.

One last thing about Republicans and how they talk. This excerpt from yesterday’s RRL profile of GOP candidate for HD-52 Bryan Daniel. See if you can get what he’s trying to say.

He acknowledged there are pros and cons, when it comes to the state possibly providing property tax relief to homeowners by raising the sales tax.

“Voters are not of one mind on what is the correct formula, but they are of one mind that we need to figure it out,” Daniel said. “Voters are solution oriented, but they don’t expect a single answer. They know it is more in-depth.

“I think the voters would like to see that the Legislature looks at its budget like every household,” he said. “I don’t think anybody’s advocating a raise in taxes; property or sales tax.

“Personally, where I come down is we probably ought to find a better balance between property taxes and sales tax.”

That’s a lot to digest and he’s spinning pretty good. What he’s trying to say, without saying it, is that while he doesn’t want to say he’s going to raise the sales tax, he wants to raise the sales tax. We continue to fund our state government with only a sales and property taxes, and according to Daniel they’re currently out of balance - with the property tax being too high. So unless we cut a bunch of programs out of our state budget, we’ll have to balance the sales and property taxes. Therefore, the sales tax will have to rise. That’s how I read Daniel’s logic. That is unless he wants to introduce some new kind of tax or raise the newly created business tax.

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