Britain last night criticized George Bush’s failure to attend the World Summit on
Sustainable Development as ministers made clear they had hoped the US president
would have been able to turn up. AFP photo
Hey little George: "Its the economy little stupid"
Well the tax cut that little George passed is a big factor in the United States' return to deficit spending. The government which is allowed to do what the average person cannot do, spend more than it makes forever.
In addition, there is all those CEO scandals and stock manipulations and the lack of buyer confidence and the shaky Dow. The economy is sick and getting sicker and eventually the unemployment rate is going to start to climb.
In the meantime, little George is planning his attack on daddy Geroge's old nemesis, Saddam Hussein. Little George loves war as long as his daughters do not have to do the
fighting and dying.
And little George is ignoring the Earth Summit in South Africa. It would seem to me that if I were president that I would work toward peace and justice at the Earth Summit as opposed to working toward war and chaos in the Middle East.
In the end, it is the people who elected little George. In the end it is the ignorance of the people who supported little George.
Little George, who threw the people a little tax cut to get elected and then eliminates their jobs later on. And little George does not have to worry about his retirement
so why should he worry about all those baby boomers who are going to suck the social security system dry in about seven years.
Well I guess we understand the lack of emphasis on education. But wasn't that a big political issue when little George was running?
August 28, 2002
Four More Years of Federal Deficits Predicted
By JIM ABRAMS
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (Aug. 27) - The federal government's budget will slide into the red for four years, government analysts said Tuesday in a report sure to vault tax and spending policies into the election-year battle for control of Congress.
Democrats and Republicans accused each other of putting the government on a path toward fiscal disaster after four years of budget surpluses. Just six months ago, the analysts were predicting a return to surpluses next year.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that surpluses like the $237 billion recorded the last year of President Clinton's tenure won't resume until President Bush's tax cuts expire in 2010, as current law requires - and only if Congress keeps a lid on military and social spending.
Republicans, who want to make the tax cuts permanent, said the CBO numbers are not surprising in light of the recession and the costs of the war on terrorism. But they insisted that Congress must put a tight hold on future spending.
Democrats blame much of the budget shortfalls on the $1.35 trillion, 10-year tax cut enacted last year, and warned that Republican policies could bankrupt the government when today's baby boomers start collecting Medicare and Social Security benefits a decade from now.
``The clock is ticking away, the baby boomers are marching toward their retirement,'' said Rep. John Spratt of South Carolina, top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
That committee's chairman, Republican Rep. Jim Nussle of Iowa, said the CBO numbers presented ``a clear choice'' between Republicans who want to rein in spending and Democrats who would ``send us down a path to much deeper deficits'' with more spending.
From Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said: ``The president believes the lesson from today's CBO numbers is that Congress needs to hold the line on spending. And if Congress won't do it, the president will do it for Congress.''
In January last year, the CBO and the White House Office of Management and Budget both predicted a budget surplus, with the inclusion of Social Security funds, of some $5.6 trillion through 2011. But the recession, repercussions from the Sept. 11 attacks, an unexpectedly large decline in tax revenues and double-digit percentage growth in federal spending have all but eliminated that projection.
``Through a combination of wrongheaded fiscal policy and tentative economic leadership, we have now suffered one of the most dramatic fiscal turnarounds in American history,'' said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
The CBO now estimates the government will be $157 billion in the red in fiscal 2002, compared with a $127 billion surplus in fiscal 2001, and that the deficit will hit $145 billion next year. Fiscal 2002 runs through Sept. 30 this year.
It said the government should creep back into the black with a $15 billion surplus in 2006 and could accumulate a $1 trillion surplus for the 2003-2012 period if there are no big increases in spending and if the tax cuts are allowed to expire as scheduled.
Expiring tax provisions from last year's tax cuts and other efforts to stimulate the economy total some $956 billion, nearly equaling the projected surplus, the CBO said.
Nussle disputed those figures, saying they were mere projections and that the only ``definite, for sure thing'' is that increased spending will undermine efforts to balance the budget.
The CBO, in its last projection in March, estimated the 10-year surplus at $2.4 trillion. CBO Director Dan Crippen said the re-evaluation was due mainly to a precipitous drop-off in revenues as the stock market fell, capital gains returns decreased and corporate profits went down.
The new CBO figures were also more pessimistic than the OMB, which said in July that the surplus would total $2.3 trillion in the 2003-12 period under current tax and spending policies. The OMB said the federal government could break even as early as fiscal 2004.
The CBO said it used more up-to-date figures on reductions in revenues and a resulting $454 billion increase in interest payments on the national debt, explaining part of the difference between the CBO and OMB estimates.
The surpluses projected by both offices rely on the Social Security trust fund. The CBO said the general budget will actually be $1.5 trillion in the red over the next decade, but will be rescued by the expected $2.5 trillion surplus in what people pay into the Social Security fund. Democrats note that both parties had promised not to dip into the trust fund to pay for other government programs.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., blamed tax cuts for reversal of fortunes, and said problems will multiply in the next decade as the government faces more revenue declines and a jump in Social Security and Medicare costs.
``It's a complete disaster for the long-term fiscal health of this country,'' he said.
But OMB Director Mitch Daniels said the CBO report shows the deficit will turn back toward balance ``with the right choices. President Bush's plan to balance the budget is straightforward: revive our economy, win the war against terrorism and restrain spending.''
Britain criticizes Bush for summit absence
BRITAIN last night criticised George Bush’s
failure to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development as
ministers made clear they had hoped the US president would have been
able to turn up.
In a rare note of criticism, Margaret Beckett authorised a statement
drawing attention to Mr Bush’s absence and hinting that he may lack
personal commitment to the goals of the summit. However, Britain was
fully behind US in the block of developed nations making it clear they
would not agree to any new funding promises demanded by the poorer
The summit opened yesterday in Johannesburg, where the US continued to
be accused of hoarding wealth. Poor countries claim it has halved the
amount of its national income spent on international aid in ten years.
Mrs Beckett, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, had
seemed to join in the criticism by saying that "the American
government is not doing as much as we would all like to see it do."
When asked to clarify the statement yesterday, Mrs Beckett’s office
said that she believed that the "US is taking the summit
seriously" in sending Colin Powell, the secretary of state.
It then turned to Mr Bush’s absence: "Mrs Beckett understands why
President Bush can not attend, although she had hoped that he would
Since 11 September, Mr Blair has allowed his ministers to criticise the
US on only two areas: its decision to erect steel tariffs, and its
refusal to comply with the Kyoto environmental treaty.
In drawing attention to the US president’s absence, Mrs Beckett has
made clear that her earlier criticism of Washington policy was no
accident. Her office also declined to deny a rift had opened with the US
over international aid. Mrs Beckett has, however, made much of Tony
Blair’s personal involvement in the summit - and defended his decision
to turn up for less than an hour. "He’s been working on this for
18 months; he’s been engaged and involved in it all the way
through," she said.
The Prime Minister has spoken frequently about Africa, and suggested
that helping the continent remains one of his ultimate political
ambitions. In last year’s Labour Party conference speech, he told
delegates that "the state of Africa is a scar on the conscience of
Mrs Beckett has made clear that she does not believe the American people
are not pulling their weight and that "there are lots of people in
America who take these issues as seriously as they deserve."
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