Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A New Congress

Begins tomorrow. I expect its relationship with the President will be interesting and unfortunately, unproductive. The President will most likely try to block any efforts at real progress. That's too bad, if Bush would work with the Democratic Congress to get something done, it might remove some of the tarnish from his legacy.

Anyway, its shaping up to be interesting. CNN has this take on the relationship. The Times writes that Bush is trying to regain the initiative. The Post Reports that Bush is promising to balance the Budget . . . in 2012, six years after he leaves office. It its an interesting read with lots of choice nuggets, like this:
He went on to tout his economic policies, which he said have "allowed us to meet our goal of cutting the budget deficit in half three years ahead of schedule."

Hmm, he's bragging about fixing a problem he caused in the first place. And of course he's lying about it too:
The claim that the federal budget deficit has been cut in half stems from the administration's original projection of a $512 billion deficit for 2004, a number that critics have said was inflated, especially since the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was forecasting $477 billion at the time.

Meanwhile Bush blames everyone but himself for the mess. But who invaded Iraq? And what about the Bush tax cuts for the very rich?

Some economists also have charged that Bush has claimed unwarranted credit for his tax cuts, which they say have cost the Treasury more in lost revenue than has been gained from their economic stimulus effect.

According to Alan D. Viard, a former Bush White House economist who joined the American Enterprise Institute, "Federal revenue is lower today than it would have been without the tax cuts. There's really no dispute among economists about that."

Viard said in October there was "no evidence" that Bush's tax cuts come anywhere close to paying for themselves, a conclusion shared by economists at the Treasury Department and the nonpartisan CBO, Washington Post staff writer Lori Montgomery reported.

The Congressional Research Service has estimated that economic growth fueled by the tax cuts is likely to generate revenue worth about 7 percent of their total cost, which amounts to about $1.1 trillion since 2001.

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