Tony Blankley

The only genuinely "draconian" policy in Washington is the multi-trillion-dollar annual deficits being run up that constitute a death sentence on our children's and grandchildren's prosperity and liberty.

The thing to be condemned should be "draconian deficits," not "draconian deficit cuts."

From the early reports of the White House's proposed 2012 budget, they will be more subject to the former than the latter charge.

According to the Washington Post, quoting the administration (don't take my word for it): "The White House proposal, outlined Friday by a senior administration official, would barely put a dent in deficits that congressional budget analysts say could approach $12 trillion through 2021. But the policies would stabilize borrowing, the administration official said, while reversing the trend of ramping up spending..."

When a ship is sinking, one might consider actually pumping out more water than is rushing in. But the White House is content to "stabilize" these draconian deficits, they increased in the past two years. (See how nicely the alliterative phrase "draconian deficits" sounds. Let's try it again and again: "draconian deficits, draconian deficits...")

Even worse, the administration's budget proposal -- which also includes tax increases and defense cuts -- justifies even further new spending (what they mislabel "investing") with the benign sounding presidential phrase: "It cuts what we can't afford, to pay for what we cannot do without."

Huh? It doesn't "cut what we can't afford," because the administration-proposed budget still spends more that a trillion dollars more than we take in.

So to actually "cut what we can't afford," they would have to deliver a balanced budget (or at the least, a deficit of less than 3 percent of GDP) -- neither of which they do.

Conversely, the new spending is not things "we cannot do without." In fact, we have done without these new spending programs for the entire two and a quarter centuries of our existence as a country.

Perhaps, by my attention to correct word usage, I can be accused of verbal prissiness. But if we can't gain sufficient precision in our words, we are unlikely to gain sufficient precision in our deficit reductions. And that is the alleged object of our government this season.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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