Originally created 09/23/05

President Bush pulls a costly con

On Sept. 16, President George W. Bush revealed his biggest con yet of the American people.

His post-Katrina rebuilding plan specifically ruled out raising more tax money to help pay its staggering costs. So far, Congress has pledged $63.2 billion, and the final cost to the federal government could top $200 billion.

Already this year, Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress have spent record amounts on their favorite projects:

  • $58 billion for the war in Iraq. This brings the three-year total to over $200 billion, all of it neatly off-budget.
  • $80 billion for the 2005 Energy Bill. It contains billions in "tax incentives" for his cronies in the oil and natural gas industries.
  • $286 billion for the 2005 Transportation Bill. President Reagan, a real conservative, refused to sign a transportation bill containing 152 pork-barrel projects. Bush approved 6,371 barrels of pork for fellow Republicans in Congress.
  • $540 billion over 10 years for Medicare.
  • The list goes on. Hundreds of billions of new spending with no new sources of revenue.

    The Economist magazine had it right: Bush has "the dubious distinction of presiding over the largest negative budget swing in American history, from a surplus of $236 billion in 2000... to a deficit of $412 billion... in 2004." Nebraska Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel also got it right when he said, "The Democrats are better because they are honest about (government spending). They don't pretend."

    Bush does. He makes voters who want lots of government spending happy. He makes voters who want lower taxes happy too. Good new-fashioned Republican politics!

    Millions of voters someday will hold Bush responsible for the projected $2.1 trillion, 10-year deficit. But that's the beauty of the Bush con. Those Americans now are either too young to vote or aren't born yet. They're our children and grandchildren.

    Did you vote for this man?

    Charles Heywood, Martinez


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