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Last month, in the wake of the Great Thumpin’ of ‘06, resurgent Congressional Democrats set 2012 as the target date to balance the budget again after six years of fiscal irresponsibility. Today, President Bush got a case of broken-recorditis (Record: A pre-digital audio data format prone to unintentional looping) and declared 2012 — four years after he leaves office —as his target date to balance the budget. No details of how he’d accomplish the task (four years after he leaves office) were given.

Frankly, after six years of doing nothing to stop his Party's free-spending ways, I'm happy to see President Bush finally come on board... Well, happy to hear him talk the talk, anyhow. It's just a shame that he looks downright hypocritical for being so concerned only now that Republicans no longer dominate the trough. Oink, oink!

He also says Congress should "end the dead-of-the-night" legislative processes that Republicans put in place. It's amazing how much he sounds like Nancy Pelosi back when she was raging against the machine and Bush (looking quite hypocritical again) was quiet as a church mouse:

The American people expected genuine debate [Pelosi said]. Yet Republicans limited floor discussion on one of the most dramatic changes to Medicare in its history to a mere two hours. Two hours. And this behavior was not limited and confined to the vote on Medicare. For some reason, and I think it should be obvious what it is, the Republicans insist on having votes that are of great import to the American people, where they are clearly on the wrong side of the issue, taken in the middle of the night.

On a Friday in March at 2:54 a.m., the House cut veterans benefits by three votes. At 2:39 a.m. on a Friday in April, House Republicans slashed education and health care by five votes. At 1:56 a.m. on a Friday in May, the House passed a leave no millionaire behind tax cut bill by a handful of votes. And at 3:38 a.m. on a Friday in June, the House GOP passed a Medicare privatization and prescription drug bill by one vote.

At 12:57 a.m. on a Friday in July, the House passed a Head Start bill by one single vote, and that Head Start bill was to undermine and unravel a very successful Head Start initiative. And then after returning from a summer recess, at 12:12 a.m. on Friday in October, the House voted $87 billion for Iraq, an issue that Democrats and Republicans were on both sides of the issue, as were the American people. They deserve to hear the debate in the light of day.

But again, it's nice to have President Bush finally talking the talk. In disciplining dogs and unruly children, I've always believed a judicious thumpin' has a place. We'll see if it sticks in Bush's case.

And with the irony flowing thick and fast like... well, molten iron I guess... I nearly rolled off my chair laughing at Republicans wringing their hands over getting shut out of the Democrat's first raft of legislation. Democrats decided to push a minimum wage hike and ethics reform measures through the House using the Republican's own procedural rules that disallow amendments and debate by the minority party.

Speaker Pelosi could have initiated a motion to change the Republican rules and allow more participation by the minority party, but decided she didn't have time to do that AND enact her First Hundred Hours plan. She says she'll change the rules in a couple weeks. Ack! House Republicans get hoisted on their own petard. If nothing else, I like Pelosi's sense of humor. Hang on, America. We're in for some interesting politics.

Posted by American Pundit at January 4, 2007 2:42 AM
Comment #201427

Balance the budget again? Well, it’s been about 50 years or so since it’s been balanced so it’s about time.
Oh, wait, you ‘re referring to the claim that Clinton balanced the budget, aren’t you?
That’s pretty hard for a President to do since he has no legislative authority.
The so-called balanced budget when Clinton was in office was certainly Clintonian-a lie.
It was done by removing some items from the budget, counting projected revenues in the current budget and other dishonest accounting sleight of hand that has landed some executives in prison in some high profile cases in recent years.
It’s going to be fun watching the left when their naive belief that the Dems are some kind of angelic beings gets stomped by reality. A reality that’s easily discerned by looking at their history. Then again, leftists have very short memories so they’ll get surprised again-if they will even admit the truth when it’s right in front of them. (not likely, as their history shows)

Posted by: traveller at January 4, 2007 8:06 AM
Comment #201430

He actually lies in his recent WSJ editorial claiming to have cut the deficit in half. He’s done no such thing.

“It is also a fact that our tax cuts have fueled robust economic growth and record revenues. Because revenues have grown and we’ve done a better job of holding the line on domestic spending, we met our goal of cutting the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule.

Posted by: muirgeo at January 4, 2007 8:57 AM
Comment #201439

Revenues are at all time highs. We need to cut spending. I hope (but do not believe) the Dems will do some of that. Maybe split government will help a bit.

The balanced budget last time was completly unexpected. It came from the “peace dividend” and the bubble. It is difficult to point to anything Clinton did to make this happen. The credit goes mostly to forces outside government. To the extend those within government played a role it was gridlock. Maybe we will get some of that again. But if we come close to closing the gap, it will again be the robust economy that does it.

Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2007 10:30 AM
Comment #201444
The balanced budget last time was completely unexpected….Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2007 10:30 AM
Unexpected, yes. Then leveraged, yes. Then wasted, yes.

It amazes me how easy it is to ignore truth and reality in order to advocate some preconceived position. But then, that’s how Bush got elected.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 4, 2007 10:54 AM
Comment #201445
It is difficult to point to anything Clinton did to make this happen.

Hahaha, good one.

That was a joke, right?

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 4, 2007 10:59 AM
Comment #201450

Lets see. Travellors comment is to absurd to comment on.Down is up.Black is white etc.

Jack should not better. Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy slightly. His economic plan passed in his first term without even one Rep vote. As it went into effect revenues increased. Yes there was a peace dividend. He was savaged for taking advantage for it,but did so anyway. There was a dot-com bubble. He wisely kept the feds from interfereing much besides enableing legislation. Come on Jack. It would not kill you to give a little credit.

Posted by: BillS at January 4, 2007 11:32 AM
Comment #201454

apoligies for the grammer. I had to run a kid to school.

There was a well documented cabinet meeting in which Reubin stated clearly that the only way for Clinton to make the investments he believed the country needed was to first get the budget under control. That became the priority of the Clinton Administration for the remainder of his term. Bushco aim seems to be the exact opposite. Use deficit spending to cripple the federal governments ability to address social issues or even pay for previous promises like SS. It is a poison pill intentionally applied for ideaolgical goals. And now we get the cynical call from the Whitehouse to cut earmarks and bring the deficit under control. Of course cutting earmarks will make it harder for Dems to get reelected according to neo-con logic and deficit control means cutting programs that help the poor.

Posted by: BillS at January 4, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #201464

BillS et al

Not to take away from Clinton, who was generally a good steward, but the deficit was closed for some very good reasons outside his control.

The tax cuts did not CAUSE the deficit. We would have gone into deficit even it rates had remained unchanged because the economy began to decline in 2000 (still Clinton) and we had to pay back the peace dividend. About 1/3 of the deficit in 2002 was tax cuts. That is alot, but w/o cuts you still would have had that 2/3.

Beyond that, you have to consider Clinton AND the Republican congress. Remember when they shut down the government rather than fund spending. Will the Dems do that?

Currently revenues are at an all time high. That means we are taking in MORE money in taxes than we did at the end of the Clinton years. There is some limit to the amount the Feds CAN/SHOULD take from the economy. I do not know what that figure is, but I do know we should not raise taxes high enough to find out.

Republicans spent too much. They got spooked by 9/11 and they tried to buy security & love. It doesn’t work. Of course, you do recall that Dems controlled the Senate 2001-3, so they had some accomplises in those early days. The economy started to pick up in 2003.

If Dems trim it back, I will be grateful

Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2007 12:51 PM
Comment #201488

You are too kind to the iresponsible Reps. Trying to buy “love and security”? I would chalk it up to paying off those that bribed them,legally and illegally. But thank you at least for agreeing that Clinton was not the devil. That gets so tiresome.

Posted by: BillS at January 4, 2007 3:27 PM
Comment #201489

As does “Bush is the devil,” BillS.

Posted by: kctim at January 4, 2007 3:32 PM
Comment #201529
The balanced budget…came from the “peace dividend” and the bubble. It is difficult to point to anything Clinton did to make this happen.

LOL! Clinton’s Treasury Secretary wrote a whole book on what Clinton did to make it happen. It’s called, “In An Uncertain World”. You should flip through it, Jack. Apparently it’ll be an eye-opener for you.

The tax cuts did not CAUSE the deficit.

Yes, they did. In fact, according to the CBO, if you roll back the tax cuts for the rich we’d still be running a surplus.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 4, 2007 7:34 PM
Comment #201533

tim, Bush is too stupid to be the devil. That title probably goes tied to Dick and Saddam.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at January 4, 2007 7:46 PM
Comment #201717

Revenues are not at all time highs.

The presidents own Office of Management and Budget estimates that, adjusted for inflation, the receipts for 2005 will be lower than both 2000 and 2001.

Some prefer to compare receipts as a percent of the GDP. Using that measurement, 43 of the last 65 years receipts have been greater than the estimated receipts for 2005.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at January 6, 2007 4:00 AM
Comment #201718

Here is an over simplified way of looking at the effects of the tax cuts:

For the year 2001 the individual income tax receipts were 1,178,209,880,000.

Had the yearly collections remained the same through 2005 the total collected would have been 5,891,049,400,000. The actual amount collected was 5,300,902,420,000, a difference of a little over 590 billion over the 5 years. This does not take into consideration inflation of 10% over those years nor the 18.7% increase in the GDP.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at January 6, 2007 5:47 AM
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