Democrats & Liberals Archives

Budgets Demonstrate Party Differences

If you want to find out what a president stands for look at his budget. President Bush just unveiled his. If you want to know what Republicans stand for, see how they talk about Bush’s budget. If you want to know what Democrats stand for, see how they tear the budget apart.

The budget is huge, complicated and boring. But Yahoo covered the main points:

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Monday unveiled a $2.9 trillion spending plan that devotes billions more to fighting the war in Iraq but pinches pennies on programs promised to voters by Democrats now running Congress. Democrats widely attacked the plan and even a prominent Republican conceded it faced bleak prospects.


Bush's spending plan would make his first-term tax cuts permanent, at a cost of $1.6 trillion over 10 years. He is seeking $78 billion in savings in the government's big health care programs — Medicare and Medicaid — over the next five years, in part by increasing premiums for higher-income Medicare recipients.

There you have it. He wants war and tax cuts - only about $1.6 trillion. I can't imagine there was any other time in history when war was paid for by tax cuts. What a remarkable achievement. Only Bush could conceive of such a thing.

Oh, but Bush wants to save money. All the conservatives in his party are attacking him for spending so much money. So, he says, OK, let's reduce Medicare and Medicaid by about $78 billion. Nobody will notice this, except poor people and they don't vote anyway. Some Democrats may notice, but they don't vote for Republicans either.

In essence, Bush thinks escalating the Iraq War and distributing tax cuts to the rich is better for the United States than maintaining the health of America's citizens.

Democrats attacked this budget immediately. We need to reduce money for the Iraq War so we can DE-escalate military operations. And we need to tap into the $1.6 trillion tax-cut bonanza to provide decent healthcare to all citizens. This is what Edwards recently recommended. Other Democratic contenders will soon recommend other ways to bring the number of people without health insurance down to zero.

Bush's budget demonstrates the stark contrast. Republicans favor the rich. Democrats prefer to help the non-rich.

Posted by Paul Siegel at February 5, 2007 5:32 PM
Comments
Comment #206735

This is why congress should still be making the budget not the executive branch.

Then again Clinton opposed that idea too, as well as every other president from both parties every since it went into effect.

This brings me to the point that the number of politicians with an education and work experience that would actually qualify them to balance a budget doesn’t exist.

Vote libertarian.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 5, 2007 5:59 PM
Comment #206745

Pelosi’s helping out with a carte blanche for military aircraft large enough to accomodate her and 42 people, an entertainment room, and other cu$hy perks galore while gallavanting coast-to-coast.

Dennis Hastert traveled in a much smaller plane.

I knew it wouldn’t be anytime at all before we saw such abuses.

Can’t wait to see the pork-barrel that gets passed this year.

$2.9 trillion ?

This massive debt, spending, borrowing, and excessive money-printing can’t last forever, and there will be consequences eventually for so much fiscal irresponsibility.

Bryan AJ Kennedy,
I’m with you.
One thing is for certain.
Nothing will change as long as we keep rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians by repeatedly re-electing them.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 5, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #206746
This is what Edwards recently recommended. Other Democratic contenders will soon recommend other ways to bring the number of people without health insurance down to zero.

Smart strategy.

Nothin’ like bribing American tax payers with their own tax dollars.

Besides, healthcare is a human and civil right, eh ?

Medicare is one of the reasons healthcare costs are too high.
The insurance companies are the other reason.
We need to get rid of the middlemen.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 5, 2007 7:24 PM
Comment #206747
Republicans favor the rich. Democrats prefer to help the non-rich.
Think so, eh? I think both are very similar, and politicians of both parties continue to ignore the nations most serious problems, growing fast in number and severity. Think things are good now? It’s an illusion funded by massive fiscal irresponsibility; massive debt, spending, borrowing, and excessive money-printing.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at February 5, 2007 7:34 PM
    Comment #206751

    OK. After watching Jeanie Moost on CNN tonight polling people on the street, they don’t know what $2.9 trillion is. I always suspected that. Most haven’t the slightest idea how many zeroes are in a billion, or a trillion.

    She showed them the number: $2,900,000,000,000.00

    Then she asked them how much it was (i..e $2.9 trillion).

    Few knew. It was appalling.

    You would have had to seen it to understand the problem.

    That’s why an educated electorate is so important.
    But, don’t worry.
    Voters will get their education the smart way (probably too late for that), or the hard way.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 5, 2007 8:06 PM
    Comment #206753


    Dan: For the most part, the American people play the game just like our government does. Can’t afford it? Easy credit!

    Posted by: jlw at February 5, 2007 8:32 PM
    Comment #206755
    Bush’s budget demonstrates the stark contrast. Republicans favor the rich. Democrats prefer to help the non-rich.

    Yes, exactly true. And it explains why each party does as much as possible to increase the number of those they favor.

    Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 5, 2007 8:51 PM
    Comment #206760

    Dan,

    That story of Pelosi isn’t all that the initial story makes it seem. Check out this clarification.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 5, 2007 9:30 PM
    Comment #206764

    Thanks Paul
    The Budget underfunds childrens health care and shifts money from family planning clinics into abstinence only programs that do not work. Generally this budget calls for more cuts in social spending than he ever submitted to the Rep congress. He must want a fight.So be it.

    Posted by: BillS at February 5, 2007 10:00 PM
    Comment #206767
    The Budget underfunds childrens health care and shifts money from family planning clinics into abstinence only programs that do not work.

    Why the government is involved in “family planning” at all is beyond me. People who can’t plan their families by themselves without the help of the federal government are too stupid to reproduce in the first place, and I don’t care who hears me say it. We’re quickly reaching a point where the federal government is going to plan our meals for us, tell us when to go to bed and when to get up in the morning.

    While the world is going to hell, the US government wants to explain the directions on boxes of condoms to teenagers who are illiterate because of another federal program: our public schools.

    But since when do liberals only want funding for programs that work? If that’s the standard, the federal budget could be a whole lot smaller from top to bottom.

    Posted by: Loyal Opposition at February 5, 2007 10:56 PM
    Comment #206777


    The World is going to continue to go to hell until we get rid of this government nonsense and let the rich men run it. They know what is best for everyone. The only thing we really need government for is police to keep the peasant riff raff in line.

    Posted by: jlw at February 6, 2007 1:38 AM
    Comment #206781
    Nothin’ like bribing American tax payers with their own tax dollars.

    I’d call it investing in America.

    President Bush is investing half a trillion dollars ($500,000,000,000) in Iraq and cutting investment in America. No good can come of that.

    Posted by: American Pundit at February 6, 2007 3:26 AM
    Comment #206793
    American Pundit wrote: President Bush is investing half a trillion dollars ($500,000,000,000) in Iraq and cutting investment in America. No good can come of that.
    Agreed.

    The war in Iraq is not making us safer, was started largely based on false/trumped-up intelligence, is not fair to our U.S. troops, may be growing the ranks of our enemies (due to the lack of WMD used to justify a preemptive attack on Iraq), and Iraq will have their civil war with or without us. It’s looking more and more like it is largely about the oil.

    It’s good to see someone else knows how many zeroes there are in a $500 billion.
    I get your comparison/point, but the war is a separate issue, even if it impacts everything else.
    [National Healthcare] is “investing in America”?
    It may help slightly if it eliminates one of the unnecessary middlemen (insurance companies).

    But, can we afford it, in view of shortfalls in Social Security, Medicare, the PBGC, etc.?

    The high cost of healthcare is partly because of too many middlemen. The other part is rampant corpocrisy, corporatism, and government FOR-SALE.

    LawnBoy,
    Thanks for the link. That’s interesting, and it may have been exagerated/mischaracterized, but there are other issues: there are smaller planes that can fly coast-to-coast, Pelosi is not required to fly via military aircraft, the plane could stop to refuel once which doesn’t seem necessarily dangerous, and many of these flights are one of Congress’ cherished perk$, where duties are often mixed with sightseeing and fine dining; all at the tax payers expense. To date, no House Speaker has ever received such expensive perk$ before. The real question is:
    Is this excessive?
    Is this a responsible use of taxpayer’s tax dollars?

    jlw wrote: d.a.n: For the most part, the American people play the game just like our government does. Can’t afford it? Easy credit!
    Yes, we are swimming in debt (nation-wide, about $42 trillion). That’s $42 followed by 12 zeroes. : ) Ever played Monopoly ? But, this illusion of a good economy, funded by massive fiscal irresponsibility (i.e. massive debt, spending, borrowing, and excessive money-printing) can not last forever.

    Even Bernanke (Fed Chairman), Greenspan (former Fed Chairman), and David Walker (U.S. Comptroller) are warning us.
    Yet, all three branches of government refuse to adequately address the growing problems, and voters keep rewarding them for it by repeatedly re-electing them.

  • Posted by: d.a.n at February 6, 2007 10:24 AM
    Comment #206795

    Someone please identify any proposed budget, by any president, of any party, that ever made it through the congress unscathed, regardless of who controls the presidency or the congress.

    Anybody?

    Y’all are getting all frothy about nothing.

    OCO

    Posted by: Owl Creek Observer at February 6, 2007 11:54 AM
    Comment #206796

    LO
    “Family planning” means providing birth control methods and education.For many women that is their only contact with a doctor. As for being too stupid to reproduce there does not seem to be any minimum there. I give you the Bush twins as an example.

    Posted by: BillS at February 6, 2007 12:26 PM
    Comment #206805
    Ya’ll are getting all frothy about nothing.

    HHHhhhhmmmmm … we’ll see.
    It doesn’t appear that Congress nor the Executive Branch can control themselves anymore, as evidenced by massive debt ($8.7 trillion National Debt, $12.8 trillion of Social Security debt, $450 billion of PBGC debt, hundreds of billions of unfunded Medicare liabilities), spending, pork-barrel, waste, and excessive money-printing.

    That’s more that enough to get worried about.
    Even some with the rosiest of rosy outlooks sees it as an inevitable trainwreck. But, most Americans don’t see it because they don’t even know how many zeros are in a billion.

    At this rate, we’ll need to brush up on the names for some larger numbers.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 6, 2007 1:55 PM
    Comment #206809

    Seems to me to be a good time to put up or shut up about the deficit and global warming. Time to implement a 10$ a barrel tariff on imported oil.
    That way OPEC cannot dump oil to put alternates out of business,domestic production gets boosted without oil company subsidies,and the huge cost to us of protecting foriegn oil supply lines gets covered and slowly reduced. For those that object to any tax,fine,cut down you oil use. Good for your country and good for your wallet.There was a time when the nearly the entire cost of the federal government was paid for with tariffs.
    To really secure SS reducing the deficit is crucial. The SS fund itself has the federal bonds to get through the baby boom bubble. The problem is with the federal government and its ability to honor the bonds when the need arizes. Reducing the deficit and debt load is the responsible way to deal with it.

    Posted by: BillS at February 6, 2007 2:37 PM
    Comment #206820

    O.C.O.,

    Someone please identify any proposed budget, by any president, of any party, that ever made it through the congress unscathed, regardless of who controls the presidency or the congress.

    That is what I have been saying for a long time.

    If you want a balanced budget elect an economy or business major.

    I will not vote for a social service, psychology, history, anthropology, or any other humanities major for president.

    That includes Bush, W., and Hilary.

    You want to get screwed, vote republican.

    You want to feel good about getting screwed, vote democrat.

    You want a balanced budget, vote Nader or Libertarian.

    Wasn’t Bill Clinton a BUS ADMIN major?

    Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 6, 2007 3:42 PM
    Comment #206829
    BillS wrote: The problem is with the federal government and its ability to honor the [Social Security] bonds when the need arizes.
    Yep.

    Sort of like borrowing from yourself to pay yourself.
    Those bonds are worthless.
    Actually, future generations are getting the shaft.

    Here’s how it is likely to go down.
    Deficit spending will continue as it always has since year 1960 (the last time there was a real annual surplus and the national debt was reduced).

    Inflation will increase.
    The Fed and government will print more money, because defaulting on the $8.7 trillion National Debt would trigger a disaster.
    So, the excessive printing of money will cause inflation to climb in to the double-digit range (like it did in the late 1970s and early 1980s when it reached almost 14%).
    This will hit the poor and those on fixed incomes (e.g. Social Security) the hardest.
    But fiscal difficulties will make it very difficult to increase Social Security benefits to keep up with inflation.
    So, taxes will be increased.
    Unfortunately, the ration of tax payers to the entitlement recipients (77 million baby boomers) is falling, and fuels generational resentments.
    China and other nations continue to refrain from loaning the U.S. more money (that has already started).
    So, the Fed and government print more money.
    Social Security, Medicare, and the Medicare Prescription Drug systems become increasingly worthless as inflation erodes the value of the benefits.

    It could last a long time, and it could get worse then just high inflation.

    Voters should take a look at the math.
    It doesn’t look good.
    Just the $8.7 trillion National debt represents that many times more in interest alone. If interest rates remained at 4.5%, and we stopped borrowing $1 billion per day, and started paying back about $1.05 billion per day, it would take 143 years to pay down that debt. But, that $8.7 trillion is only part of the total $22 trillion of total federal debt. And where will the money come from when nation-wide personal debt is $20 trillion?; when the nation is swimming in debt of over $42 trillion?

    It’s not a pretty picture.
    This current so-called good economy is being propped up by massive debt, spending, borrowing, and excessive money-printing, and the consequences are probably already unavoidable.
    Some in the Fed (Bernanke and Greenspan) and government (David Walker) are warning us, but they are being ignored. And, as Jeanie Moost illustrated, many don’t even know what the magnitude of the debt really is.

    The total federal debt (about $22 trillion) is about 166% of GDP. Think about that. It would take 1.66 times the entire annaul U.S. GDP to pay off the federal debt. However, the federal government only gets about $2.5 trillion in tax revenues. If it paid ALL of it on debt reduction, it would take 9 years to pay of the $22 trillion of total federal debt.

    So, it should be obvious.
    The debt won’t get paid of ever.
    The burden of the debt will grow.
    Excessive money printing is the only way to keep up, but that erodes the value of the dollar.

    Maybe we’ll only have a little pain.
    Perhaps a serious of recessions.
    But something like a depression is not far fetched.

    None of that even entertained the potential impact of an oil shortage, another bad hurricane season, or another war, or a long and costly occupation of Iraq.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 6, 2007 4:50 PM
    Comment #206831

    I haven’t wandered into this forum for quite a long time, but this gets my vote for best comment of the day!

    OCO

    […]
    You want to get screwed, vote republican.
    You want to feel good about getting screwed, vote democrat.
    You want a balanced budget, vote Nader or Libertarian.
    […]

    Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at February 6, 2007 03:42 PM

    Posted by: Owl Creek Observer at February 6, 2007 5:15 PM
    Comment #207193

    I heard Pelosi is spending money like there is no tomorrow, not applying “pay as you go” and has no budget. By the way, it’s here responsiblity to create the budget not the presidents. He can submit suggestions but congress has the power of the press.

    When will Pelosi have a budget? When will she stop increasing the deficits that our chidren face? How can she spend our childrens future like this? Can we force her somehow to work toward a balanced budget?

    Gee, Democrats still bitching about spending and blaming republicans and the democrats are the one with the power of the purse and doing all the spending! LAUGH. So much for democrats giving us fiscal responsbility.

    On thats right, we are only TWO MONTHS in they need more time…..maybe in 08 the democrats will run on “we really really plan to be responsible next year if you vote for us”? LAUGH.

    Posted by: Stephen at February 8, 2007 1:08 PM
    Comment #207205

    Obviously, I meant power of the PURSE belongs to congress…

    Posted by: Stephen at February 8, 2007 2:15 PM
    Comment #207579
    If you want a balanced budget elect an economy or business major.

    G. W. Bush…MBA from Harvard…guess that’s where he learned to borrow and spend…

    Clinton wasn’t a business major, yet the budget got balanced…and we were headed for a surplus…

    Bush’s war spending is NOT part of the budget…and we still have a budget deficit…Bush’s “balanced” budget depends on zero spending in Iraq after 2008….like that’s going to happen!

    Posted by: Lynne at February 11, 2007 11:00 AM
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