More Then and Now
To achieve these great national objectives — to win the war, protect the homeland, and revitalize our economy — our budget will run a deficit that will be small and short-term, so long as Congress restrains spending and acts in a fiscally responsible manner.
Contrast that to Bush in the latest SOTU:
In two weeks, I will send you a budget that funds the war, protects the homeland and meets important domestic needs, while limiting the growth in discretionary spending to less than 4 percent.
This will require that Congress focus on priorities, cut wasteful spending and be wise with the people’s money. By doing so, we can cut the deficit in half over the next five years.
Four percent spending growth would require unprecedented sobriety from our spending-like-drunken-sailors Republican Congress and President (from the 11/12/03 Washington Post):
Confounding President Bush’s pledges to rein in government growth, federal discretionary spending expanded by 12.5 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, capping a two-year bulge that saw the government grow by more than 27 percent, according to preliminary spending figures from congressional budget panels.
And speaking of McCain, did anyone else notice how he had a hard time saying with a straight face that he would be “supporting President Bush” during an upcoming trip to New Hampshire? He sort of said it once, then did a double-take, and said it again.
Speaking of The Daily Show, here’s Jon Stewart’s reaction to Bush’s “weapons of mass destruction-related program activities”:
[speaking slowly and emphatically] “Dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities?” … “What the f**k is that?”
Overall, I think the reception to this year’s SOTU has been somewhere between fairly negative and mixed, but there is at least some good news for the administration: TV Viewership for Bush State of Union Slips.
UPDATE: For a more substantive, and damning, critique of Bush’s 4%/cut the deficit in half line, see CalPundit, who concludes “Explain to me again why I’m not allowed to call this a lie?”