Friday, February 10, 2006

This Lie Just In

Remember President Bush's boast in the SOTU that the budget deficit could be cut in half by 2009? Well, for a variety of reasons (notably the costs of the Iraq war), it won't happen. However, there's even a more fundamental reason: The deficit target relies on budget cuts that even the White House knows are not realistic.

The story is found in yesterday's WaPo and is based on a 673-page White House computer printout that details spending levels for each of the next five years for every federal program. According to WaPo:
[S]pending on elementary and secondary education, for instance, would rise to $22.8 billion in 2007 from $21.1 billion this year under the president's plan. But it would steadily slide from there to $21.6 billion by the decade's end. The NIH budget, long protected by Congress, is in for a small increase for 2007, to $28.59 billion from this year's $28.58 billion. But a long slide in the budget requests would bring the NIH budget down to $27.5 billion by 2010.

The effect of these cuts, should they occur, would be heightened by the fact that the spending figures do not take inflation into account.
Even an analyst from the normally sycophantic Heritage Foundation ain't buying what the Administration is selling. Brian M. Riedl, a federal budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation said that the Administration's budget numbers "raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the White House deficit projections through the end of the decade."
"Discretionary spending beyond next year are simply numbers filled in to make a future deficit look small," Riedl said. "Those discretionary numbers are driven by the goal to cut the deficit in half by 2009."
Translated back into simple English: They're lying.

Hat tip: Kleinrock's Daily Tax Bulletin. (Subscription required.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Il ragazzo di imposta, viene prego a Torino. Siete voi un bode Mugnaio o un ragazzo della ragazza come Michelle Kwan?