Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Budget Deficit Fudge

The WSJ editors predictably rejoice in today's paper over the decline of the federal deficit.

The change? Down from $596 Billion two years ago, to $574 Billion this year. Woo Hoo!

But things aren't quite as rosy as they seem. It appears the Feds have run up $39 Billion more debt in the first 10 days of the new fiscal year. Quite a feat, at this rate, next fiscal year's deficit would reach 1.4 Trillion. It appears at least 32 Billion of the stated deficit was a result of end of year shell games.

The WSJ quotes the deficit at only $248 Billion, but doing so writes off the Social Security trust funds as worthless IOUs. Of course, the WSJ editors really would prefer that the excess taxes collected from workers for the past 25 and the next 13 or so years never would be repaid, and thus they cheer the net change of $557 Billion a year on the balance sheet since the fiscal year ended 9/2000.

Half a trillion bucks a year - that is how much the Bush administration is stealing from future taxpayers, compared with the balanced budget left by the Clinton administration.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sleazy Republicans

Now hold on. Blame Democrats because the GOP short circuited the ethics committee, along with most other committees, for the past six years?

There is really no excuse for any more GOP lawmakers. Sweep them all out.

If the Democrats don't win, they should go the way of the Whigs

That is what a couple conservatives have said, including today's George Will op-ed.

I tend to agree, but it may be that the deck remains sufficiently stacked that even a landslide vote for Democrats doesn't result in a shift in the House or Senate.

Republicans still have whopping big financial advantages, as well as a big advantage in gerrymandering. Few districts are competitive, and I suspect the GOP has better statisticians on its payroll than the Democrats. Then there are the places like Texas, where Tom Delay is history, but the districts he carved out are not.

I don't see a Zogby poll on this subject now, but I recall seeing that less than a third of the population wants a GOP majority in the House, and a strong plurality favors a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. It may be that the GOP can retain power in spite of the will of the people agains them.

If that happens, maybe the Democrats should go the way of the Whigs, but whoever follows them better have a good statistician working for them.

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