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February 08, 2005

Bad Reviews for the Bush Budget Clown Show

Stan Collender is surprised at how negative the reaction of Congressional Republicans is to the latest act by the guys with the multicolored hair and the floppy shoes:

Did They Really Say That About Bush's Budget?

By Stan Collender, NationalJournal.com © National Journal Group Inc. Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005

It's hard to believe, but a phrase that hasn't been used since Bill Clinton was sending his proposed budgets to a GOP-controlled House and Senate was actually used by a number of Republicans yesterday, just hours after President Bush's 2006 budget was sent to Capitol Hill: "dead on arrival." While the mix of members will shift on each issue, the president may very well have lost his clear-cut majority on budget matters. There were two primary Republican objections.

First, there was widespread disagreement with many of the president's proposed spending changes in domestic programs....

Second, the federal deficit remains extremely high. The 2006 deficit is projected to fall to $390 billion, but that does not take into account the expected additional spending for Iraq- and Afghanistan.... the 2006 deficit is very likely to set another record and could approach $450 billion....

In the meantime, however, the politics of the Bush 2006 budget defy logic... the president may very well have lost his clear-cut majority on budget matters.... [T]he Bush proposals so raise the political stakes for a number of representatives and senators that they just might be willing to do something they have not been willing to do before: vote against an omnibus appropriation....

Fourth, the president appears to have seriously hurt the prospects for his Social Security plan.... The reaction the Bush budget is receiving from Republicans is so negative.... Republicans may already be starting to see their political survival as their own responsibility -- and more important to them than the president's legacy....

[F]iscal policy still does not appear to be a high priority for the Bush administration....

Posted by DeLong at February 8, 2005 10:45 AM