Saturday, March 05, 2005

And now, hot on the heels of Social Security

Comes the Great Exploding Deficit.

The Democrats have done a decent job on Bush's idiotic scheme to privatize Social Security - but not nearly as good a job as they should have done. It was a present with a "Kick Me" sign, and the Democrats should have done a better job kicking.

Don't get me wrong: it was good that they loudly and solidly pointed out what was wrong with Bush's stupid idea, and they did that well. But what they failed to do was use Bush's stupid idea to develop an overarching theme and tie it to their core principles. They failed to use Social Securtiy to explain how their values and principles are better than Republican values and principles in every other way, not just Social Security. The result was that they seem to have managed to defeat Bush's attempt at derailing Social Security, but they didn't do much damage to the Republican Party itself. And that has to change.

But now we get ANOTHER Bush failure: the deficit.

A report Friday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said under Bush's budget, federal deficits over the next 10 years would get no lower than a projected $229 billion in 2010. It excluded the potential costs of Bush's plan to revamp Social Security, any costs for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after this year, and other possible expenses.

Basically, the first report from the CBO on Bush's proposed budget says that it fails. It fails to do what he promised it would do: cut the deficit in half. And that's without including a few minor, unimportant costs like fighting two wars and borrowing two trillion dollars for the privilege of gutting a popular program.

From a political point of view, this is a no-brainer: Bush's Exploding Deficit is unpopular with EVERYBODY, including those conservatives who love him so much. Bush is handing the Democrats a giant gift: he is shredding the Republican Party's reputation as the party of fiscal responsibility, and handing the mantle to the Democrats.

And the Democrats should grab that mantle and wear it like a rapper wears bling.

I want to see "borrow-and-spend" turned into a slogan.

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