Third Party & Independents Archives

Passing The Buck

The buck in this well known phrase is not a dollar bill but an old poker term for an object used to identify the current dealer of a hand. The Buck Stops Here is another phrase using the term as well. While I’m not aware of how many people know this little fun-fact, it is clear that President Bush is not very familiar with these phrases at all.

This is evidenced in his latest attempt at his pre-vacation news conference today to Pass The Buck of infrastructure spending priority. When asked the question about raising gasoline taxes to pay for maintaining our infrastructure, President Bush surprised me in starting the answer off in a way that I completely agree with. He said that there should be no increase in taxes, rather, proper priority and elimination of pork should be the way to handle the issue. I think we all know that there is still pork in the spending bills that Congress sends to the President to sign and the prioritization is a fun game of 'get as much for my state as I can regardless of need' that is played in the halls of those large buildings in Washington, DC.

However, he then attempted to dodge his own responsibility of the issue by blaming Congress for sending him those bad bills in the first place. True, the Congresses that he has presided over, including the current one, are responsible for the addition of the pork and playing games with our highway money. But, as I recall, he has to SIGN those bills into law before they take effect, doesn't he?

An interesting number comes to mind. That number is *3*. Why is that number so interesting? It's the number of bills that President Bush has vetoed. And those bills had nothing to do with infrastructure appropriations. This President has not seen a spending bill that he hasn't liked, at the cost of increasing our debt and deficits for his entire term in office.

Now, he comes out and blames Congress for the mis-prioritization of the highway funds in the US. Sorry, Mr. President, instead of saying 'The Buck Stops Here', you appear to be trying to play CYA as you head out of town.

The end result is that his intention to clean up the spending bills at this late stage in his Presidency will do more to draw attention away from the very thing he thinks he is focusing the nation's attention on. Perhaps his criticism would have had more teeth if he had once vetoed a single spending bill during the past six years.

Have a restful vacation, Mr. President!

Posted by Rhinehold at August 9, 2007 11:53 PM
Comments
Comment #228920

Rhinehold, I watched his conference. I noted what you did. But, I found something else he said far more cause for concern.

He said our economic fundamentals are in good shape. This statement raises disturbing questions. Is debt and deficits of the federal government not an economic fundamental in GW’s mind? Or, is he saying our debt and deficits are in good shape?

Either way, it reveals a President without the vaguest notion of what such debt and deficits portend the next time we need to go into the world to ask for a few trillion dollars to borrow to fight our next recession, and there will be one, very likely before the entitlement deficits are upon us like a suffocating weight.

Some very small number of economy folks are voicing concern over the next one coming fairly soon as a result of the sub-prime mortgage crisis causing global liquidity problems and other leading economic indicators like personal debt and future durable goods orders.

And Democrats in Congress exempting 11 bills now from Pay As You Go policy, spells complicity between the Congress and White House to bankrupt our future in a pretty damned big hurry.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 10, 2007 4:50 AM
Comment #228923

As long as nobody’s willing to raise taxes, nobody’s willing to run the budget in a responsible way. Raising taxes should not be the first impulse, nor should cutting spending be. Efficiency, and by that, the real-world good function of government and society should be the first priority. Sometimes that means not spending on something that won’t be worth the money, sometimes that means being unafraid to spend on it, and ask the American people for the tax dollars to do it.

The budget deficit represents a disconnect, politically speaking between means and desires. In part facilitated by a political system that’s always on damage control, always propagandizing to calm people down in the face of scandal, corruption. Reagan was wrong when he said the scariest words were “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”. The scariests words a government can tell you is “everything’s alright, go back to sleep.”

It’s no coincidence that we get somebody like Bush, whose perpetual political mission is to get people off his back, and we get a record, monstrous budget deficit. When image control and damage control rule, accountability becomes a distant memory.

We can’t reform government properly if we a) don’t have realistic expectations of the rate of change, b)stick to doctrinaire positions like “no new taxes” c) do not keep ourselves aware of what our government is doing. We must demand transparency, and then we must actually employ it, because in the real world, knowledge does not always flow quickly in our direction. Even under more transparent governments, there are those who do not want to be held to account.

Keeping a good accounting on our budget will take keeping a good acounting on our politicians, as well as a broader, more mature view of our fiscal operations.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2007 8:01 AM
Comment #228926

Bush is also attempting to blame Iran for everything that’s gone wrong in Iraq…the name of the game is “responsibility” and the current regime exhibits none.

Posted by: Rachel at August 10, 2007 8:14 AM
Comment #228927

China threatens ‘nuclear option’ of dollar sales

Dow Sinks 387 on Renewed Credit Concerns

Monetary Statistics

Doesn’t someone keep posting about our wonderful economy? Nothing to see here, keep moving.

Posted by: womanmarine at August 10, 2007 8:41 AM
Comment #228929

The word accountability says it all. Not many in congress, and apparently none in the executive branch, wish to seriously acknowledge or pursue a means to achieve it. Government has evolved into a self policing entity. It is aware of the problems associated with corruption and frivolous spending yet it is still unwilling to give up all the perks associated with it. Stephen is correct in implying that a lack of transparency is the main barrier to accountability. So long as our legislators are allowed to operate in an opaque theater I suspect there will be little progress in making honest people of most of our governmental employees. But in retrospect I can not recall the words honesty and politician being synonymous. This all boils down to the words credibility and integrity of which the latter indicates there is little in government today.

Posted by: RickIL at August 10, 2007 9:44 AM
Comment #228930

womanmarine

Here’s another for you

Our wonderful housing market.

Stephen,

Raise taxes, are you mad, man?! As everyone knows, raising taxes is political suicide, and staying in office is ever so much more important than caretaking our economy, donchaknow.

Rachel

Responsibility implies maturity, maturity implies living a life where everything wasn’t handed to you on a silver platter by Daddy. Not exactly Dubya’s strong point.

David,

Pay As You Go policy? Not sure what you are refering to. Got a link?

L

Posted by: leatherankh at August 10, 2007 9:47 AM
Comment #228935

Well, here’s someone touting their real acts of courage and responsibility [I’m being sarcastic, if you can’t figure it out on your own!]:

“This is not a mayor or a governor or a President who’s sitting in an ivory tower,” Giuliani said. “I was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I’m one of them.”

Where are the videos of Rudy digging through the rubble???

Posted by: Rachel at August 10, 2007 11:09 AM
Comment #228937

Leatherankh, third paragraph of this ASN link.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 10, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #228969

It’s not surprising that Bush is playing ‘Pass The Buck’ and ‘CYA’. These games and ‘Get As Much As I Can For Myself’ are the favorite games of that bunch up there in DC.
The Government is wasting enough of our money without giving them more to waste with higher taxes. If they would make a serious effort to cut ALL unnecessary spending they could do wonders for reducing the deficit. And wouldn’t have to raise taxes to do it.
When Congress and the President can pass an appropriations bills without pork.
When Congress and the President can cut so called ‘entitlement’ spending to a bare minimum.
When Congress and the President can cut the wasteful bureaucratic spending.
When Congress and the President can balance the budget.
Then and only then, if more money is needed will I be for a tax increase.
But don’t look for any of the current irresponsible bunch inside the Beltway to even try to do any of the above. They’re to busy selling this great nation down the river to the highest bidder for their personal and political gain. The only way to get responsible government is voting ALL irresponsible politicians out, replacing them with ones that will put the country first.

Posted by: Ron Brown at August 10, 2007 5:43 PM
Comment #228973

Ron Brown, now that is an admirable set of demands. Demand the government become frugal with the revenues already collected before agreeing to anymore, and voting out incumbents until government politicians fulfill that demand. If only 50 million voters would take that position, America could indeed solve many if not most of the problems that lie ahead of it.

Well, said, Ron Brown. Well said.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 10, 2007 6:01 PM
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