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Is it a lie, or an incompetency with simple math?(10 posts)

Is it a lie, or an incompetency with simple math?dr hoo
Jan 22, 2004 4:53 AM
Bush claims that his 4% budget will cut the deficit in half by 2009. Using CBO estimates as a baseline, if his budget is passed as layed out in the SOTU speech, then the deficit will actually go UP from current levels.

So, is THAT a lie? Or is it incompetence in additions and subtraction? Or more "wishful thinking" like "The Iraqis will welcome us and then start running everything themselves."?

On a cultural note, last night's "Daily Show" really ripped the SOTU speech, flaying it to the bone then sucking out the marrow. Luckily, they had John McCain as a guest to speak in defense of the Republican side. If you want to know the meaning of "damning with faint praise", McCain's words are a great example.

Of course, Bush's words are a good example too:

"...dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."

As in:

March 2003: Weapons of mass destruction.
June 2003: Weapons of mass destruction programs.
October 2003: Weapons of mass destruction-related programs.
January 2004: Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.
no, its political math...ClydeTri
Jan 22, 2004 5:27 AM
Both sides do it..always have..They can propose a 10% increase in the budget for a department, then they reduce that increase to 8% and they, both sides, will tell you that they have cut the budget by 2%. The PEOPLE ought to have an outside auditor who reports to the PEOPLE.
Many states do.OldEdScott
Jan 22, 2004 5:32 AM
Many states have an elected official called an 'auditor of public accounts' or something similar. Usually, the people who run for it are young pols ambitious for higher office. Accordingly, they pursue their watchdog role with great zeal to make a name for themselves ferreting out 'waste, fraud and abuse.' It works pretty well, in a lot of cases.
You guys don't have a federal public auditor?Spunout
Jan 22, 2004 6:55 AM
We do, The Auditor General of Canada. Reports directly to parliament.

Now, next goal would be to have the Ethics Advisor report to Parliament and not the Prime Minster.
maybe the GAO? but....ClydeTri
Jan 22, 2004 6:56 AM
but they are paid by Congress, so, not truely independent
can we have yours?mohair_chair
Jan 22, 2004 7:22 AM
Having a federal auditor is not a great idea. It's like the fox guarding the hen house. Just like a public company, you have to hire an outside auditor. I propose that the United States hire the Canadian auditor, and a US auditor can work with Canada. Everybody wins.
Don't be so hard on george.MR_GRUMPY
Jan 22, 2004 6:03 AM
After all, he's just saying what his bosses told him to say.
Optimistic growth assumptionsContinental
Jan 22, 2004 7:21 AM
I don't like Bush, but I don't think he's a lying, deceitful, evil man. In this case, I think that he believes some optimistic GDP growth assumptions which were probably back calculated to give the 50% deficit reduction by 2009. As you know, minor tweaking in the projected growth rate makes a huge difference in revenue projections 5 years out.

It's political nonsense that I've seen both parties manipulate for as long as I've been able to read a newspaper and do the math--propose your budget, spend the money, calculate what GDP growth rate you need to have an acceptable deficit 5 years out. Stick the back-calculated growth rate into the equation for projecting future revenue. State the future deficit as a fact.
Here's a graphic and discussion link:dr hoo
Jan 22, 2004 7:51 AM

Liberal biased blog.

Actually, I think the numbers are worse that this shows. The link does not add in the cost of several additional tax proposals (such as health savings accounts, ss privatization transition costs, etc). It also includes the SS surplus, I think, which if you cost out adds a couple hundred million or so of deficit.

Ah, but deficits don't matter. I think I will go charge a Rivendell.
We have to conclude it's a lie.Spoiler
Jan 22, 2004 8:13 AM
I don't think any of us Bush haters really think he's that stupid. We know he and his staff can perform basic math. He's just as comfortable telling a bold-face lie as Clinton was.