BUDGET BLAME GAME Less than four months ago as the "war on terrorism" escalated, President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle couldn't find enough nice things to say about each other. This is the type of bi-partisanship many Americans were looking for as we start to grapple with a stagnant economy and growing budget deficits. Unfortunately, the era of bipartisanship may be over.
Good Leaders Lead; Bad Leaders Blame
Here is a news update from Taxpayers for Common Sense. TCS is the best organization that monitors excessive government spending, corruption and corporate welfare.
Recently, both President Bush and Senator Daschle delivered major addresses that focused on the economy. On the surface these addresses seemed very different, but there were several troubling similarities. Both presented good and bad news to the public. Both were misleading. And, both President Bush and Senator Daschle were practicing typical election year politics -- the politics of blame.
President Bush attempted to blame out-of-control congressional spending as the main reason for the shrinking federal budget surplus. He also made a read my lips pledge by declaring, "Not over my dead body will they raise your taxes." Glossed over in this hard-edged political prose is the fact that a majority of the cost for the 2001 tax cut is back loaded to future years.
Daschle, on the other hand, made the case for an economic turn-around by calling for fiscal restraint. However, he failed to indicate how he planned to cut spending to get the federal fiscal ship in shape. Considering the spending free-for-all that occurred at the end of last year, in which Senator Daschle and other Senate appropriators played a significant role, his lack of a real plan should send shivers up taxpayers' spines.
What the President and lawmakers should be worrying about are the mounting deficits, which are expected to top $100 billion in 2003. The long-term effects of budget deficits could force interest rates to climb, delaying an economic recovery and mortgaging future generations.
Neither the President nor Senator Daschle is being straight with the American people. We all know the economic and political reality is that huge federal budget deficits are back. This will require a strong commitment to eliminating wasteful spending and subsidies. The partisan bickering and political grenade throwing will do nothing to get the economy back on track and the nation's fiscal house in order.
It is prudent that we have an honest debate and that we keep all of our fiscal options on the table. Unfortunately, that may be too much to ask in an election year.
For more information, contact Keith Ashdown at (202)-546-8500 ext. 110
or by email at email@example.com
TCS is at www.taxpayer.net
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