Thursday, February 09, 2006

Don't Think Of Them As Cuts, Think Of Them As Negative Enhancements

In the interest of full disclosure we have to admit that we once took an accounting class, so we feel we're in a position to discuss whether the president's budget truly represents cuts in domestic programs, or their total abandonment by a callous, corrupt, incompetent administration mired in a completely avoidable, yet unwinnable war with little regard for those among us who are the most needy and vulnerable.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

President Bush
defended domestic spending-cut proposals that have been greeted warily in Congress, saying the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina had forced him to make tough decisions. "I had top decide whether to dump on brown people who aren't even Americans, or black people who probably didn't vote for me anyway."

The president went on to push for an extension of his first-term tax cuts and said if they were allowed to expire, growth of his friends' portfolios would suffer.

At a business luncheon in New Hampshire Bush urged lawmakers to enact "sunset" provisions that would force periodic reviews of federal programs to see if they are still needed. When asked why he had opposed sunset provisions on elements of the Patriot Act Bush replied that "some exceptions must be made to the general rule. Besides, you should hear what people talk about on their cell phones. It's better than TV."

"There's no question the war and the hurricanes have stretched our budget -- all the more reason to set priorities and to be wise with your money," Bush said. "That's why we're going to give a lot of it to rich people. They're very wise. After all, rich people bailed me out every time I screwed up."

Republicans, including Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter (R Say Anything) and Maine Senator Olympia Snowe (R Token) have expressed qualms about parts of Bush's budget proposal. "We tried to talk to him about domestic spending," Snowe told a news conference. "But he thought we were talking about hiring more maids and butlers in the White House."

Bush signed a measure to cut $39 billion over five years from social welfare programs, including the Medicaid health program for the poor and student loans. "By definition poor people are poor," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "So taking more money away for them won't change that. They'll still be poor."

The president, whose drive to overhaul Social Security last year failed, said it was crucial to control the costs of entitlement programs. "Well, except for corporate entitlement programs," he said.

Explaining that his cuts weren't really the same as cutting the programs being cut the president said, "There is an important distinction -- it is the difference between slowing your car down to the speed limit, or putting your car into reverse. And if you're not rich white and republican, you should be taking the bus anyway."

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