By the Way, When We Said “$400 Billion” We Really Meant…

Shocking, just shocking. I am shocked and surprised. Really.

CNN: President Bush’s new budget will project that the just-enacted prescription drug program and Medicare overhaul will cost one-third more than previously estimated… Instead of a $400 billion 10-year price tag, Bush’s 2005 budget will estimate the Medicare bill’s cost at about $540 billion, said aides who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Bush just signed the Medicare measure into law last month. While it was moving through Congress, Bush, White House officials and congressional Republican leaders had assured doubting conservatives that the bill’s costs would stay within the $400 billion estimate.

Well, at least it’s the first time the Bush administration has ever been slightly imprecise about the cost of their proposals. We all make occasional mistakes, right? I know it’s pure coincidence that their new cost estimate was made public just one month after Bush signed the bill into law. And I’m still going to confidently assume that Bush’s estimate is correct that putting bases on the moon and Mars will only take $1 billion.