« Daniel Gross on Social Security and Income Insecurity | Main | Why Are We Ruled by These Liars? (Nuclear Material to Libya Edition) »

March 23, 2005

Stan Collender Watches the Budget Battles

Stan Collender is a very good reason to subscribe to http://nationaljournal.com/. (I would--if it were not for the fact that Stuart Taylor's playing footsie with torture turned my stomach too much.)

BUDGET BATTLES A Bad Week For The White House, by Stan Collender secollender@nationaljournal.com:

[Y]es, the Bush administration told anyone who would listen that it was pleased with the budget resolution passed by the Senate. But... President Bush was seriously hurt by the specifics of what happened last week.... The specific rejections by the Republican-controlled Senate of several of the president's highest-priority spending cuts are the most obvious.... That makes Bush promise to cut the deficit "in half" by the end of this decade -- a questionable pledge to begin with -- even less likely to happen....

And yet for all that, the collateral political damage from the White House's failure to get the Senate to go along with its proposals is far more important. There are now real questions about the ability of the House and Senate to agree on a fiscal 2006 budget resolution. Without that, there can be no reconciliation. That would mean that most of the Bush administration's other budget initiatives would be in serious trouble....

The fact that a number of Republican senators who in the past have been loyal to the Bush administration were willing to vote against the president on parts of the budget resolution should be a real concern to the White House. Many of these senators previously had been willing to sacrifice their own concerns to help the president achieve his priorities....

And if there was any doubt before, the Senate's budget resolution debate clearly shows that the president's plan for Social Security is in serious trouble.... [T]he Bush administration's "starve the beast" approach must now be considered a failure as well. Republicans obviously are not prepared to reduce spending on domestic programs just because a series of tax cuts helped create a record-high budget deficit....

Posted by DeLong at March 23, 2005 01:11 PM