Bush's Spending Lie: It's one thing to lie to Democrats, another to lie to your comrades

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
1
0
I don't think many caught this little "factual inconsistancy" from the "Meet the Press" interview.

Bush's Spending Lie
It's one thing to lie to Democrats, another to lie to your comrades.

By Timothy Noah

It's no secret that President Bush tells lies. Bush whoppers are so frequent that an entire subgenre of political nonfiction was created to document them. It never seems to bother Bush or his White House when he's caught making stuff up, no doubt because the sort of people who get angry at his untruths weren't going to vote for him anyway. When Bush acknowledges these dustups at all, it's nearly always to mischaracterize them as mere difference of opinion. "My political enemies think the earth revolves around the sun," he'll say. "That's their prerogative. I happen to disagree."

But in his Feb. 9 Meet the Press interview, Bush told an entirely new sort of lie?one that may cause him a different sort of trouble than he's used to. The topic was "discretionary spending," which is Washington-ese for money that Congress appropriates directly, as opposed to "mandatory spending," which is made up of interest payments on government debt and entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Mandatory spending programs disburse money automatically according to formulas previously set by Congress. The majority of federal spending is mandatory spending. Discretionary spending accounts for only about one-third.

If you're serious about cutting federal spending?and almost nobody is?you need to go after the two biggest pots of money, Social Security and Medicare. But that's politically unpopular. The next biggest pot is the Pentagon. But in the post-9/11 world, that's even more unpopular. So most discussions about cutting federal spending focus on domestic discretionary spending, which accounts for only about one-fifth of the whole pie.

Those conservatives who sincerely believe that government needs to spend less?a small but important Republican constituency?are furious at Bush right now because he's increasing domestic discretionary spending more rapidly than Bill Clinton did. During his two terms in office, Clinton increased domestic discretionary spending by 10 percent. Bush, in not quite one full presidential term, has already increased domestic discretionary spending by 25 percent. This according to the White House's own budget charts! (The numbers are adjusted for inflation.)

Knowing this, it's all the more extraordinary that when Bush got asked about his spending habit on Meet the Press, this was his answer:

If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined.

That isn't even close to being true. Under Bush, overall discretionary spending (i.e., with defense spending included) has increased every single year. It's now 31 percent higher than it was when Bush arrived.

But perhaps Bush meant to say, "domestic discretionary spending." Well, that, too, has increased every single year of Bush's presidency, and, as previously noted, is now 25 percent higher than it was when Bush arrived.

It seems almost gratuitous to add that in the last year of President Clinton's term, discretionary spending was up not 15 percent, but 3 percent, and that domestic discretionary spending was up not 15 percent, but 5 percent.

It should be obvious how the Meet the Press lie about spending differs from the usual Bush lie. He's lying to a different audience. Bush isn't gaslighting Democrats; although Democrats worry about deficits, they don't lose sleep over large increases in government spending. (Indeed, the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has lately been complaining that the spending increases projected in Bush's proposed 2005 budget aren't large enough.) To most Democrats, Bush's transparently false claim that he's cut discretionary spending will provoke at best mild academic interest.

Bush is gaslighting small-government Republicans. He's lying to the Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl, who has observed that federal spending has grown twice as fast under Bush as it did under Clinton. He's lying to Paul Gigot, who edits the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, which says runaway spending is evidence that "the Republican imperium is starting to show signs of ideological dry rot." He's lying to Rush Limbaugh, who recently told his listeners that Bush hopes to soften "people's view of conservatism by making Americans work more for government and less for themselves," and that this strategy won't work. He's lying to Andrew Sullivan, the hawkish conservative blogger who's in utter despair over Bush's spending spree. He's lying, in short, to people who believe in him. Or rather, believed; Sullivan is drifting rapidly leftward and has already struck out at Bush's dishonesty on Meet the Press. If others follow, Bush could see serious erosion in his political base.

A more appalling possibility is that small-government conservatives won't complain about being lied to because they place loyalty above self-respect. Even before the Meet the Press interview, former Bush speechwriter David Frum was making excuses for spending increases under Bush. (Frum made his name with the 1994 book, Dead Right, which urged Republicans to regain their focus on reducing the size of government, but he's since decided that intellectual consistency must bow to the war on terrorism.) There was nothing about Bush's spending lie on the Journal editorial page today, and nothing in James Taranto's "Best of the Web" log on its Web site. The Weekly Standard's Web site hasn't weighed in, either. There's some grumbling about Bush's spending on National Review's "The Corner" Web log, but nowhere could I find the words, "lie," "false," "untrue," or "not true." Is it possible all these conservatives are going to take Bush's lie, er, lying down? Be warned, Republican brothers: Once Bush starts lying to you, he may never stop.

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ITJunkie

Platinum Member
Apr 17, 2003
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www.techange.com
You know the sad part in all this is that there will be those lemmings (both Republican and Democrat) that will vote strictly along party lines.

Hopefully there will be enough votes out there to stop this sh!t before we are completely bankrupt.
 

Bitek

Lifer
Aug 2, 2001
10,414
4,838
136
While the Dem party just sits around getting its issues co-opted by Bush, I really wish they would steal (and truely believe in) the issue of fiscal responsibility (and I don't mean just deficits.) There a few other issues they could (and should) cherrypick as well.

IMO, Bush has abandoned all the admirable qualities of the Republican party to co-opt all the bad habits of the Dem party. He's not bad b/c he's a Republican. He's bad b/c he's a bad Republican.
 

heartsurgeon

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2001
4,260
0
0
another to lie to your comrades
While Democrats may refer to their brethren as "comrade", Republican's generally don't aspire to emulate Marxist ideals and decorum...we most definitely do not call each other "comrade"
 

sMiLeYz

Platinum Member
Feb 3, 2003
2,696
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Originally posted by: heartsurgeon
another to lie to your comrades
While Democrats may refer to their brethren as "comrade", Republican's generally don't aspire to emulate Marxist ideals and decorum...we most definitely do not call each other "comrade"
I really don't think what you call your "buttbuddy" is at issue here. ;)

The issue is Bush is blantently lying to his base, or even worse actually believes hes telling the truth.
 

heartsurgeon

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2001
4,260
0
0
I really don't think what you call your "buttbuddy" is at issue here.
Once again, while Democrats certainly embrace alternate lifestyles with zest and verve, this Republican does not have any "ButtBuddies"
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Oops. Sounds like the biggest enemy of the "Bush did not lie" crowd continues to be Bush himself. Damn pesky facts anyway.

:)
 

Engineer

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
39,234
701
126
Hmmm.....I don't know...I guess the Deficit is OK. There are approximately 129,000,000 working people in this country.....take 6 trillion and divide by 129million and you get approximately 46,000 dollars debt. per tax paying working. And not all of them pay taxes (lower income, etc). What's another mortgate to the average Joe?

Who cares how much we spend? When you die, it's not your problem anyway, is it?




 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
1
0
I especially liked this line:

A more appalling possibility is that small-government conservatives won't complain about being lied to because they place loyalty above self-respect.
Meaning, folks like Cad who rail on and on about their "strong principles" really don't stick to them when it comes to Bush. Instead, the zealously fall in lock-step behind the president, because he's the only Republican running and perhaps on social issues they happen to agree with his policies. I'm sure all of the supposedly "real" conservatives will ignore this among other fiscal issues w/ the president and fall all over themselves to smear the dem candidate -- it's already happening w/ Kerry...
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Originally posted by: DealMonkey
I especially liked this line:

A more appalling possibility is that small-government conservatives won't complain about being lied to because they place loyalty above self-respect.
Meaning, folks like Cad who rail on and on about their "strong principles" really don't stick to them when it comes to Bush. Instead, the zealously fall in lock-step behind the president, because he's the only Republican running and perhaps on social issues they happen to agree with his policies. I'm sure all of the supposedly "real" conservatives will ignore this among other fiscal issues w/ the president and fall all over themselves to smear the dem candidate -- it's already happening w/ Kerry...
OR....maybe we'll support Bush over the others who are promising even more gov't spending. Just because some of us aren't happy with the level of spending with Bush doesn't mean we don't support other things he is doing. Would I like to see Bush spend less? Absolutely - I'd like to see ALL politicians spend less, but just because he has spent more than I think he should have doesn't mean I can't support him because of other issues that I feel are important. You seem to think that "strong principles" means one issue - when infact it can be many. I will support Bush inspite of the spending before I support those who support things that I strongly oppose(and want to spend even more) based on priciples.

CkG
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
775
126
You're full of sh!t cad, bush is trying to outdo the democrats in spending! :| You neo-con communists have absolutely no principle. You SAY you want less government but then again you are willing to vote in the guy who will make government BIGGER than anyone else! You care more about having a president that has an "R" beside his name more than having a president who will stick to principles :disgust:


Originally posted by: CADkindaGUY
Originally posted by: DealMonkey
I especially liked this line:

A more appalling possibility is that small-government conservatives won't complain about being lied to because they place loyalty above self-respect.
Meaning, folks like Cad who rail on and on about their "strong principles" really don't stick to them when it comes to Bush. Instead, the zealously fall in lock-step behind the president, because he's the only Republican running and perhaps on social issues they happen to agree with his policies. I'm sure all of the supposedly "real" conservatives will ignore this among other fiscal issues w/ the president and fall all over themselves to smear the dem candidate -- it's already happening w/ Kerry...
OR....maybe we'll support Bush over the others who are promising even more gov't spending. Just because some of us aren't happy with the level of spending with Bush doesn't mean we don't support other things he is doing. Would I like to see Bush spend less? Absolutely - I'd like to see ALL politicians spend less, but just because he has spent more than I think he should have doesn't mean I can't support him because of other issues that I feel are important. You seem to think that "strong principles" means one issue - when infact it can be many. I will support Bush inspite of the spending before I support those who support things that I strongly oppose(and want to spend even more) based on priciples.

CkG
 

Bowfinger

Lifer
Nov 17, 2002
15,776
392
126
Originally posted by: DealMonkey
I especially liked this line:

A more appalling possibility is that small-government conservatives won't complain about being lied to because they place loyalty above self-respect.
Meaning, folks like Cad who rail on and on about their "strong principles" really don't stick to them when it comes to Bush. Instead, the zealously fall in lock-step behind the president, because he's the only Republican running and perhaps on social issues they happen to agree with his policies. I'm sure all of the supposedly "real" conservatives will ignore this among other fiscal issues w/ the president and fall all over themselves to smear the dem candidate -- it's already happening w/ Kerry...
Yep, the RNC insiders count on blind party-line compliance to rubber stamp whoever they annoint, no matter how repugnant he may be. If the rank and file Republicans stood up to the party and refused to accept their marionettes, the party would have to become responsive to its members. Fortunately for the RNC, that's a hypothetical they'll never have to worry about.

Not that the Dems are much better, of course. Indeed, given Kerry's astounding rocketing from obscurity, I've wondered if the Dems are pulling the same crap as the Reps did in 2000. It's probably just Kerry's deep pockets, but one has to wonder how he went from single-digit support to overwhelming double-digit leads almost overnight.
 

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