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Old 02-11-2004, 11:32 PM   #1
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Bush "mispoke" about spending on meet the press.

One of my biggest problems with the current state of affairs is the deficit and the increased spending under this administration. I consider myself to be fiscally conservative. This administration has shown itslef to be a bigger spender than the prior administration.

I am wondering how this can be. Before Clinton the school systems were offering MANY after school programs for children in the elementary school. For three years, there has not been ANY funding for them.

[Q]So in his Feb. 8 interview the President erred in this exchange:

Russert: But your base conservatives -- and listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, they're all saying you are the biggest spender in American history.

President Bush: Well, they're wrong.

Russert: Mr. President

President Bush: 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.

Discretionary spending -- meaning spending that is subject to annual legislative appropriations, as opposed to spending for entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare -- actually grew only 5.6% in Clinton 's last budget year (fiscal year 2001, which began October 1, 2000 ).

Since then discretionary spending has not "steadily declined" as the President said, but has gone up. In fact, the growth has been much faster than under Clinton . In the first year for which President Bush signed the spending bills discretionary spending growth soared to 13.1%, and annual growth remained in double digits through the current fiscal year.

How could the President be so wrong in a nationally televised interview? White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said the President meant to refer not to discretionary spending overall, but only to the portion of it not attributable to military spending or homeland security. That would exclude well over half of all discretionary spending this year.[/Q]

Good question....this does not work...but ALA Dean we will correct through a spokesman.


[Q]Using Bolton's own figures, FactCheck.org calculates that the discretionary sums contained in appropriations bills signed by Bush for the current fiscal year -- including the $87 billion supplemental appropriation for Iraq -- amount to nearly a 36% increase over Clinton's last year.

Most of the increase has indeed come from military spending (including wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) and activities that the administration classifies as homeland security. But that still leaves a 16% increase in funding for other discretionary programs.[/Q]

16% increase to Clinton's 4%. Freaking Fuzzy MATH. That does not sound right!

[Q]As Clinton's budget surpluses have turned to deficits, Bush has come under criticism from all sides, liberals complaining about tax cuts and, lately, conservatives complaining about spending.

A Cato Institute analyst wrote Jan. 23 calling the increase "The Republican Spending Explosion,” and said discretionary spending increases signed by Bush -- once adjusted for inflation -- "are 3 of the 10 biggest annual increases in the last 40 years.”

A Heritage Foundation analyst wrote that "spending has increased twice as fast under President Bush as it did under President Clinton," and attributed the spending surge less to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 than to a lack of "self-discipline required to balance fiscal priorities."

But Richard Kogan of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says that even with the big increase in spending overall, Bush still is “modestly shortchanging, and maybe not so modestly in some cases, some domestic programs that have worked well.”

Kogan adds, “It’s true that Bush is a small spender, but only if you ignore the increases in military spending and anti-terrorism spending.”

And only if you consider a 16% increase over 3 years to be "small."[/Q]


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Old 02-11-2004, 11:44 PM   #2
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So Bush is a small spender on the little man? [/sarcasm]
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