Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bush Works Budget Magic

President Bush has announced bold plans to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief without raising taxes. Ok, he doesn't have a plan, actually, but he does have a dream. It's a good start, no?
"You bet it's going to cost money. But I'm confident we can handle it and I'm confident we can handle our other priorities," he said during a news conference... "It's going to cost whatever it costs."

* * * * *

Bush, who declined to try to put a price tag on the costs, expressed no worry.

The question here is whether that preternatural nonchalance is born out of extreme confidence, or if it's just the pathological steadiness of a 3-card monty hustler.

When pressed for a more concrete plan, the president could only say this:"[i]t means we're going to have to make sure we cut unnecessary spending.... It's going to mean that we maintain economic growth and we should not raise taxes."

We know that the president doesn't read newspapers, so it's certainly possible that he just hasn't heard that Lord Volde—er, Tom DeLay, declared victory in the battle against unnecessary spending just this past Tuesday, announcing that there was no fat left to cut from the federal budget.

If that's truly the case (and when has DeLay ever been known to lie?), then Bush has his work cut out for him. This year's budget shortfall comes to $333 billion, and that's before adding in any of the costs of Katrina. $62 billion has already been spend on the disaster, and there's a lot more spending on the way.

So, where is the money going to come from? There's no official word, but whispers in Washington hint that the president has called in assistance from the nation's leading alchemists and the National Brotherhood of Magicians.

Just remember, Mr. President, there's a fine line between a magician and a pickpocket, although something tells me you already know that.
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