Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Don't Get Hysterical

Here is the headline for a front page story on the deficit: "War has budget bleeding red ink." Keep reading and you will find out that the deficit is projected to be $427 billion and that President Bush has asked for $80 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan. That means that if the entire $80 billion for the war is added to the deficit it constitutes 18.7% of the $427 billion. How does 18.7% of anything cause "bleeding." So you might say, and you would be right, that overspending on domestic issues is causing the bleeding. Clearly this was a sensational headline written by, surprise-surprise, somebody over at the SAEN who does not support the Iraq war, but that does not mean that the editors should let them lie about it.
I agree that ‘bleeding’ is the wrong word here. A more accurate description would be ‘gushing’ red ink. The $80 billion that you so casually dismiss is in addition to $25 billion that has already been set aside for war costs in 2005 and together it brings the total cost of the war to more than $300 billion. $300 Billion!!!
Remember Bush’s former economic advisor Larry Lyndsey? He is the one who got fired because he came out and admitted that the war would cost $200 billion back when the Bush administration was claiming that it would be no more than $100 billion. He was just $100 billion off and it isn’t over yet.
Perhaps ‘gushing’ red ink is too mild a term too. How about a ‘tsunami’ of red ink? Remember that we used to have a surplus before the most fiscally irresponsible president in our nation’s history took office.
I thought the headline was hilarious: the Bush admin is doing everything it can to make the deficit look smaller, even to the point of lying and using imaginary projections and pretending the war will cost $0 in terms of the deficit. Then I see that headline: they blame the war on the deficit? The official deficit number that doesn't even include the war?

I would expect some spin from a right-wing paper that supported Bush TWICE despite what he did to our country, our economy, our environment, those in poverty, our standing around the world, etc., but to go and pretend like the war is the cause of our deficit and not the complete incomptence and wasteful spending of Bush is ludicrous.
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