What a Difference a GW Makes

“The elections have not reversed the laws of economics.”
G W Bush, January 3, 2007

So there’s an op ed “written” by George Bush in today’s Wall Street Journal. I’m sure others will go through the piece and find discrepancies. I gotta get to work, so I’ll just share my favorite. (Long time readers may know what’s coming…)

GW tells us: “[W]e met our goal of cutting the deficit in half three years ahead of schedule. By continuing these policies, we can balance the federal budget by 2012 while funding our priorities and making the tax cuts permanent.”

How fiscally responsible. So he’s ahead of schedule. But his goal of cutting the deficit in half – cutting an inflated projected deficit that never occurred, wasn’t the plan on which he ran for office back in 2000. It also wasn’t in his Economic Blueprint rolled out with great fanfare in February 2001. In fact, his economic plan wasn’t about cutting deficits – there were no deficits. That plan said things like:

“The President’s plan will accelerate this trend to record rates by retiring an historic $2 trillion in debt over the next 10 years. Under the President’s budget, the national debt will be only seven percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011, its lowest share in more than 80 years.”

Contrast that with the current plan… to balance the budget by 2012. What a difference a GW makes…

Indeed, when viewed from today, the Economic Blueprint reads like comedy gold, having such gems as:

“Indeed, the President’s Budget pays down the debt so aggressively that it runs into an unusual problem—its annual surpluses begin to outstrip the amount of maturing debt starting in 2007. This means that the United States will be effectively unable to retire any more debt than what is assumed in the Administration’s Budget over the next 10 years—the President achieves “maximum possible debt retirement” in his budget.”

Another beaut:

“The Administration’s Budget does just what Chairman Greenspan recommends. It continues to pay down a historic amount of debt at a record rate as long as practicable. However, it also lays out an agenda for gradually reducing the on-budget surplus in order to minimize the risks of a build-up in excess cash and Government purchase of private assets in the future. Even with its tax cut, the Administration still projects that $1.3 trillion in excess cash will remain in 2011. This cash would be available for Social Security reform and other priorities.”

If a used car salesman pulled this kind of bait and switch, he wouldn’t survive in business very long. Why anyone would take this man seriously about anything any more I have no idea.