Sunday, December 9, 2007

Straining at the Gnat

Yesterday, we took a day off from relentless critique to admit an error of our own. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

I don't pretend to understand the national budget, but I do know that President Bush has been one of our most profligate, extravagant spenders ever. The Republicans talked about reining in federal spending for decades, but from 2000 to 2004, when they had control of the White House and both houses of Congress, federal spending increased at twice the rate it had increased under President Clinton (and that's straight from Fox News).

But now, even though Congress looks like it will cave in once again and give him $70 billion in Iraq war funding with no strings attached, President Bush is threatening to veto the omnibus budget bill because it contains $11 billion in domestic spending he doesn't want. Heavens, Bush proposed $623 billion in defense spending alone; he wants to spend almost $3 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan every week, and he can't compromise on $11 billion in domestic spending he doesn't like? We've got $141 billion to spend in Iraq and Afghanistan but not $11 billion to spend at home?

Look, I don't know the details. Maybe there's something specially bad about this $11 billion. But for Bush and the Republicans to claim that they've suddenly discovered fiscal responsibility is absurd. They've been pouring our money down bottomless foreign pits for five years now. They boosted domestic spending to record highs when they controlled the whole show. Now the Dems have Congress and they're going to have to compromise a little.

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