Bush Defends Tax Cuts as Deficit Reducing

Mark Thoma listens to the President’s Saturday morning address so we don’t have to – and provides this link:

”The tax relief stimulated economic vitality and growth and it has helped increase revenues to the Treasury,” Bush said in his weekly radio address. “The increased revenues and our spending restraint have led to good progress in reducing the federal deficit.”

How did his speechwriter cram so much dishonesty in two short sentences? If we have had spending restraint and strong growth – how does one explain the fact that Federal spending as a share of GDP has risen from 19% in 2000 to 20.3% in 2004? To be fair, real spending has increased only 17% – but also note that real GDP has increased by a mere 9.6% over this four year period. In the meantime, real tax revenues have fallen by 12% with the revenue to GDP ratio now being only 16.8% as of 2004 as compared to 20.9% in 2000.

In many households, the kids are watching cartoons as President Bush delivers his Saturday radio address. Let me suggest that their parents would be better advised to join their kids than to listen to such clownish discussion of our nation’s fiscal policy.

Given that this President is so willing to buy into free-lunch supply-side spin, is it any surprise that he’s also willing to buy into Palmeiro-Rove spin?