Fiscal Sanity from Two Guys Named Joe (Trippi & Scarborough)

Joe Trippi promotes a book by Joe Scarborough: Rome wasn’t burnt in a day: The Real Deal on how politicians, bureaucrats, and other Washington barbarians are bankrupting America with a summary that can be found here and includes:

In just three years since George W. Bush was elected president, your Republican-run Congress took a $155 billion surplus and turned it into a staggering $455 billion deficit. These self-described conservatives did it in part by passing a staggering array of pork-barrel bills, billion-dollar farm subsidies, and trillion-dollar entitlement programs that America cannot afford. At the same time, Republican congressmen voted into power in 1994 under the platform of cutting wasteful Washington spending have worked with liberal Democrats to strap you and your unsuspecting fellow Americans over the course of the last decade with the largest annual budget deficit and federal debt in the history of the United States. Most get reelected with ease by telling the folks back home that they still support smaller government and balanced budgets. But when they return to Congress, these politicians meekly fall in line. That is why the U.S. National Debt Clock in New York City blinked wildly out of control as it streaked somewhere north of $7 trillion…You now pay for their carelessness every time you pay your monthly credit card bill, student loan, car lease, or home mortgage. Just as economists have been predicting for years, Washington’s runaway deficits are now causing interest rates to move back up. As investment guru Steven Rattner recently told the New York Times, “The question is not whether interest rates will continue to go up. But rather how far and how fast.”

Trippi’s discussion can be found here including:

Treasury Secretary John Snow asked them to raise the limit back in August – but President Bush and the Republican leadership were hoping they could wait until after the election and avoid calling attention to our nation’s fiscal woes under their policies prior to Americans going to the polls on Nov. 2nd. Now, a President who has not vetoed a single spending bill, and wants to make trillions in tax cuts permanent, is asking Congress once again to borrow money from retirement trust funds to keep the federal government operating. And still, President Bush had no qualms questioning the fiscal sanity of Senator Kerry’s record in Wednesday’s debate…Yet the fact is it is the president’s record does not match his rhetoric, regardless of his Tempe tantrum on that issue. Right now there isn’t a lot of fiscal sanity coming from either side of the spectrum. But given a choice between the fiscally blind Bush administration and the fiscally one-eyed John Kerry, Kerry’s the one talking some sense.

Even the Miami Herald gets in on this bipartisan criticism of Bush’s fiscal insanity with this:

Experts note, however, that Bush has proven a lavish spender as president and, in fact, has never vetoed a spending bill. In fiscal 2004, when federal revenue actually rose 5 percent, spending shot up 6.3 percent…Bob Bixby concurs. He is the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group that urges balanced budgets and fiscal discipline. “We should have some sort of short-term plan to balance the budget again, some multiyear plan to try to get the budget back in balance about the time boomers begin to retire,” he said. Beyond economic considerations, Bixby views the deficit as a reflection of a fundamental flaw in how Washington governs: a lack of will to draw the line defining what’s affordable and what isn’t. As he puts it, ‘deficits are often a symptom of politicians’ failing to pay for governments they enact.”

So President Bush has no plans to either cut spending or raise taxes, but he did find time to accuse Senator Kerry of fiscal insanity.