Conservatives and the Bush Budget
By Arnold Kling
What I wonder about is the absence of conservative outrage over Bush’s budget numbers.
My prediction is that it will be easier to add $540 billion in Medicare spending than it will be to cut $5 billion in farm subsidies.
Part of the [increase in estimated cost of the prescription drug plan from $400 billion to $720 billion] comes from earlier flim-flammery on the part of the Administration & congress, which projected costs from 2004-2013, even though the benefit didn’t start until 2006. The new projections start in 2006. But that move alone can’t possibly be enough to account for the projected costs nearly doubling. Hang onto your hat, Hilda; we’re in for a bumpy ride.
Even bumpier, if Joseph Antos and Jagadeesh Gokhale are correct.
The administration has been arguing that much of the increase in non-defense spending stemmed from higher homeland-security spending. However, the fact is that over half of all new spending in the past two years is from areas unrelated to defense and homeland security…
once again this year, the administration has left out important items from its calculation, such as an additional supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan, which could hit $80 billion. More importantly, the administration’s numbers do not include any of the potential transition costs for restructuring Social Security.
Also, at this event, Kent Smetters said,
President Bush would have to eliminate the equivalent of Social Security’s financial problems three times over just to take back the extra fiscal burdens he placed on future generations during his first term.
Maybe David Corn should get out more.
For Discussion. Will President Bush go down in history as an economic conservative?