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Jason Holliston
Monday, February 02, 2004  
Incredible Deficits

So, the President has released the details of his new budget that marks that starting point for Congress to start work on. It calls for an astounding 2.4 trillion dollars to be spent, resulting in a 521 billion dollar deficit. In other words, 20% of the budget will have to be borrowed money, mostly from overseas investors. How he thinks he can get re-elected with this sort of fiscal mismanagement is beyond me. I guess he's betting that people's overriding fear of someone inept at foreign policy taking the Presidency will save him regardless of what he does on the domestic front. Ultimately, he may get my vote, depending on who the Democrats put up, but this does provide his opponent with gasoline-level fuel to work with.

I have to say that I really don't think the picture would be that much better -- if at all -- with Gore at the helm. A lot of this really does have to do with the War on Terror and inheriting an economy in a recession. Still, that only explains part of it, and his "5 year plan" smacks of Soviet-era promises that were never met. It's easy to promise something that you're not going to be around to see through. You can forgive a year or two of high deficit spending during a weak economy and a national security sea change like we've seen, but blatantly forecast that this problem won't go away in during his entire second term -- assuming he gets re-elected -- is incredible.

This budget represents a complete and utter collapse of anything resembling fiscal responsibility in the Republican party. The only fiscal difference between the two now is their priorities on where they'll spend the money, and not if they'll spend it. Maybe there was never a difference, but it still sickens me that a voter that leans fiscally libertarian has no options, other than protest votes.

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