Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Cost of "Your Money"

Hey, remember when President Bush said that the taxes we Americans pay are not the government's money, but our money. I think this was waaaaaay back in the presidential campaign in October 2000 or so. Great rhetoric there George. So great, George got selected. Fast forward a bit and George pushes through a Republican majority congress (with help from the fainthearted faction) huge tax cuts. Huge cuts in taxes. Of course these benefit the most wealthy tax payers in America, but that's not important.

Of course all this talk about giving back our money was done when a Democratic congress and President balanced the budget and paid down the deficit so there was actually a record surplus to "give back". Faced with new realities in the form of a Bush recession, and since George is never wrong, George changed his tune from it being our money, to tax cuts as the one and only means of economic stimulus.

Don't you see sillies? It's not really our money. It's their money. You know. The job creators. Those ultra rich elite 3% Americans who can get their accountants to deduct everything down to the family pet, errr, that would be therapy dog, who wind up paying less tax than your average fast food manager. Yes, those job creators. President Bush has assured us that those are the people who create jobs. After all, someone has drive them to the airport for that Aruba getaway, wax their Jag, tutor their kids, and walk the therapy dog.

So today we get news that the budget deficit isn't all that bad. Or at least not as bad as expected. From CNN:
The Treasury Department said Wednesday in its monthly budget statement that the deficit from October through December totaled $118.61 billion, down from $130.16 billion during the same three months in the 2004 budget year.

The government ran up a record deficit in dollar terms of $412.3 billion for the 2004 budget year which ended last September 30. President Bush has pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of his second term.
Gee, that's swell. We're running 8.9% below last year's record budget deficit. That sure makes me feel better. I wonder what that will do to the long term deficit situation? Good thing a few paragraphs later CNN tells us:
The Congressional Budget Office estimated in early September that the deficit for 2005 would shrink to $348 billion with the shortfalls gradually easing to $65 billion by 2014. That would give a 10-year deficit total of nearly $2.3 trillion.
Only $2.3 Trillion over ten years. That's peanuts. You know, I'm sure George would agree that this economic stimulus has worked so well, reducing the deficit 8.9% and all, we ought to make those tax cuts permanent. With all that job creat'n I'm sure it would help out that deficit some more. Or not:
The CBO estimates making Bush's tax cuts permanent would add $2.2 trillion to the shortfalls through 2014, including the government's added borrowing costs. Easing the alternative minimum tax's impact on middle-income earners would cost another $435 billion.
Damn that liberal media. I'm no math whiz. But I thought all those tax cuts for those job creat'n rich people and their therapy dogs were suppose to help the economy and cut the deficit. I could be wrong here, but isn't another $2.2 trillion dollars almost as much as $2.3 trillion dollars, give or take a few hundred million. Doesn't that mean we would just about double our deficit if we make the tax cuts permanent?

Hey, call me math impaired, but I bet even the therapy dog could figure this one out.