Bush Goes Back To Bad Economics
As you may have heard, the White House has decided to put W. out there to promote his alleged successes, in order to distract attention from his rather conspicuous failures of late. The first installment of this happy talk offensive occurred in Washington today, when the president delivered pithy remarks about his economic and fiscal policies.
Much as I generally avoid extended exposure to Bush rhetoric, I really encourage you to read this speech in its entirety, to get a grip on the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the current administration's economic policies.
The economy is peachy keen, he says, thanks to his tax cuts, which need to be made permanent.
Fiscal problems? This president, who has yet to veto a single spending bill (or any bill, for that matter), is "working with congressional leaders" to get spending under control, apparently by cutting Medicaid, food stamps, child support enforcement, and other programs benefitting unimporant political constituencies.
Energy costs going crazy? Time to suspend environmental regulations, beef up--or pork up--subsidies for oil and gas producters, and then definitely begin oil drilling in the Alaska Natural Wilderness Reserve.
Health care costs bandrupting businesses and decimating families? Let's trot out HSAs, AHPs, and every other marginal right-wing idea for undermining broad risk pools and larger coverage.
Boomer retirement crisis? Bush trots out his weariest rhetoric for Social Security privatization.
Personally, what bugged me most about Bush's speech was its casual failture to announce, explain or embrace any sort of basic macroeconomic strategy for the country.
Pardon me for being nostalgic, but I believe every advanced industrial nation ought to have such a strategy. We certainly had one during the Clinton administration.
Why not announce one now?
Because they (1) can't admit mistakes; (2) consider revenue and spending commitments to "our team" as sacred; and (3) basically don't think Americans are capable of basic math--these guys are incapable of a coherent, consistent budget or economic strategy.
And it continues today. --