"Incredibly Positive News”

President Bush has been trying to deflect blame for the deficits. He tells his “trifecta” joke (lie, actually), and says Democrat spending is the cause. Here are some examples:

CBS News, Jan. 23, 2002, “Republicans have blamed the worsening budget picture on the recession and the campaign against terrorism. They say annual surpluses will return shortly if the economy rebounds and if Democratic efforts to boost spending are rebuffed.”

NY Times, Aug. 28, 2002, “But White House officials and Congressional Republicans argued that the new deficits merely reflected the recent economic slowdown, the price of the war in Afghanistan and the costs of beefing up domestic security against terrorism. Dan L. Crippen, the director of the budget office, said the recession and the plunging stock markets appeared to have played a bigger role than the tax cuts in reducing tax revenues.”

Wash. Post, Aug. 27, 2002, “The president believes the lesson from today’s CBO numbers is that Congress needs to hold the line on spending,” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said from the president’s ranch in Crawford, Tex. “And if Congress won’t do it, the president will do it for Congress.”

And in another article, same paper, same day, “The real danger to the budget comes from pork-barrel spending by the Congress,” declared White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. “We should control what we can,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels, “which is spending.”

MaxSpeak today gets into this with a very good piece suggesting that Republicans want deficits on purpose as a way to limit the size of government.

Let me help sort this out, and note the date as he tries to blame 9/11. New York Times, August 25, 2001

President Bush said today that there was a benefit to the government’s fast-dwindling surplus, declaring that it will create “a fiscal straitjacket for Congress.” He said that was “incredibly positive news” because it would halt the growth of the federal government.