09/15/2005: Bush: When in trouble, SPEND!!!!
But, of course, push for those tax cuts, too.
From Josh Marshall. I agree wholeheartedly with the first three words of this one:
This worries me. Note the added emphasis. The clip comes from a piece in tomorrow's Post about yet another huge funding bill the president will roll out tomorrow for Katrina aid, which the Post says will cost more next year than the entire cost of the Iraq war thus far ...Regain public confidence in who? Is the nation undergoing a crisis of confidence in itself?Bush and Republican congressional leaders, by contrast, are calculating that the U.S. economy can safely absorb a sharp spike in spending and budget deficits, and thatthe only way to regain public confidence after the stumbling early response to the disaster is to spend whatever it takes to rebuild the region and help Katrina's victims get back on their feet.
Put that passage together with this one in Mike Allen's piece in the Time and I think you see where we're going ...
By late last week, Administration aides were describing a three-part comeback plan. The first: Spend freely, and worry about the tab and the consequences later. "Nothing can salve the wounds like money," said an official who helped develop the strategy.What's driving this budgetary push is not a natural disaster but a political crisis, the president's political crisis. The White House is trying to undo self-inflicted political damage on the national dime.
You don't have to be a conservative or a budget-hawk to be deeply worried about what's happening here. It's not even a matter of the dollar value in itself, though this country has already been pushed to the budgetary edge and just doesn't have an infinite number of hundreds of billions of dollars it can spend. But as Josh points out, it's not bad enough that the bAdministration intends to spend all that money, but given the reasons why they're gearing up to spend like that, we can clearly see what's coming (hint: look at how the Iraq war has been bungled):
Maybe you want to spend $200 billion on rebuilding the Delta region too. Fine. Something like that will probably be necessary. But don't fool yourself into thinking that what's coming is just a matter of a different chef making the same meal. This will be Iraq all over again, with the same fetid mix of graft, zeal and hubris. Cronyism like you wouldn't believe. Money blown on ideological fantasies and half-baked test-cases.
You could come up with a hundred reasons why that's true. But at root intentions drive all. You'll never separate this operation or its results from the fact that the people in charge see it as a political operation. The use of this money for political purposes, for what amounts to a political campaign, tells you everything you need to know about what's coming.
Bush seems to be spending like a drunken college freshman with a credit card for which Mommy and Daddy are co-signers:
Len on 09.15.05 @ 12:48 PM CST