Bush Lied! Deficit Edition

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Jul 11, 2006 2:43 PM
The deficit is nowhere near as big as his evil administration predicted it would be. I question the timing of this announcement:

President Bush touted new deficit figures Tuesday showing
considerable improvement upon earlier administration predictions,
saying it shows the wisdom of his tax cuts.

Bush himself
announced the figures _ a task that for the most part has been left to
lower-ranking administration officials in the past. The new figures
show the deficit for the budget year ending Sept. 30 will be $296
billion _ much better than the $423 billion that Bush predicted in
February and a slight improvement over 2005.

Well, this should have all the lefties who are oh-so-worried about the deficit feeling cheery indeed, right? What good news for the country, right?

Um, nevermind. Kos says, "I remember when Republicans thought deficits were bad."

Yes, and I remember when the size of the federal deficit, among other economic issues, was worthy of a Yearly Kos panel just a month ago.

You'd think a significant reduction in said deficit would be taken as good news.

Lefties are also fond of saying the deficit is "record," but:

...when measured against the size of the economy _ at 2.3 percent of
gross domestic product _ the 2006 deficit would be lower than the
deficits of 17 of the past 25 years. And if recent patterns hold, this
year's deficit figure should improve even more by the time final
figures are announced in October.

Larry Kudlow takes Nancy Pelosi to task on a statement she made about the Bush tax cuts in 2003:

“All of them…contribute to the national deficit.”
Wrong again. Amid a surge in tax collections, the Bush administration
cut its estimate of this year's budget deficit today by 30 percent to
$296 billion. The projected shortfall is down from the $423 billion
deficit the White House forecast five months ago and represents 2.3
percent of gross domestic product, according to the OMB. Government
revenue has risen 13 percent so far this year, driven by higher than
expected tax receipts as the economy grew at an annual rate of 5.6
percent in the first quarter, the fastest in almost three years (when
the tax cuts were introduced). Individual tax receipts were almost $60
billion higher than expected because of the rise in personal income.
Corporate tax receipts were over $50 billion higher than expected.

He also points out this editorial on the Laffer Curve smack-down:

What, you ask, has led to this
miraculous event? A tax cut, it turns out. Or rather, an array of tax
cuts, on corporate income, personal income, and capital gains. These
tax cuts, passed in 2001 and 2003, appear to be having the desired
effect of spurring economic growth by creating addition incentives for
work and entrepreneurship. The latest numbers, moreover, offer some
hard data to challenge some of the charges leveled against President
Bush and congressional Republicans in respect of tax cuts. These tax
cuts haven't exactly benefited "the rich." A third of those higher
income-tax revenues came from the highest-earning 1% of households,
according to the New York Times.

Now, I am no fan of profligate federal spending. In fact, I hate it with the burning passion of 1,000 fireants, and I know that the Republican majority has been in charge of a big, fat dose of it. This makes me angry. Hence, my many pork-related posts and rants on government waste.

But, it's important to remember that the country was attacked, has been engaged in a very expensive war, and experienced one of its worst natural disasters ever, all in the last 5 years. And yet, the economy continues to grow by leaps and bounds, unemployment stays unbelieveably low, and we have yet to be attacked again.

Imagine if someone had told you that would be the case in September of 2001. I wouldn't have believed it.

Oh, and let's not forget it's not only a victory for Laffer, but also for one Mr. JFK:

I shudder to think where would be under the economic leadership of the new kind of Democrats.