WASHINGTON — The White House predicted Monday that President Bush would leave a record $482 billion deficit to his successor, a sobering turnabout in the nation’s fiscal condition from 2001, when Mr. Bush took office after three consecutive years of budget surpluses.The real chilling part of this story comes a paragraph or two later...
The worst may be yet to come. The deficit announced by Jim Nussle, the White House budget director, does not reflect the full cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the potential $50 billion cost of another economic stimulus package, or the possibility of steeper losses in tax revenues if individual income or corporate profits decline.
The new deficit numbers also do not account for any drains on the national treasury that might result from further declines in the housing market.
Mr. Nussle predicted Monday that the deficit would more than double in the current 2008 fiscal year — to $389 billion, from $162 billion in 2007 — before shooting up to $482 billion in the 2009 fiscal year, which begins in about two months.(emphasis added)
Well, the neo-cons got what they wanted. Grover Norquist must be chuckling behind his latte and scone. They've destroyed America.
The combination of enormous budget deficits, which seem to stretch ad infinitum, a recession, which will likely deepen into a Depression, although no one you know will ever admit to it in our lifetimes, and the ghastly costs of an irresponsible and illegal war, which will cost us in ways we can't even begin to monetarize, have created the perfect economic storm.
One that will force harsh choices on Americans in the coming administration. This is the ultimate "scorched earth" policy: spend, spend, spend and leave nothing in the till for the next guy.
It is, in my opinion, no coincidence that the two largest deficits in American history, $413 billion in 2004, and $482 billion next year, come at the nexus of elections that could see the shift of power from Republicans to Democrats.
In 2004, it was possible for John Kerry to win the election-- certainly he was poised to-- and Bush clearly wanted to destroy this great nation in a temper tantrum.
And now, with Bush leaving office to either his greatest Republican rival or to the Democrats, and with history's judgement of his administration already weighing in negatively, he's pooped his diaper again!
Even McCain is alarmed by what he has perceived from these numbers: he's being stabbed in the back once more:
“There is no more striking reminder of the need to reverse the profligate spending that has characterized this administration’s fiscal policy,” Mr. McCain said.$482 billion dollars is a lot, to be sure, and that's just the half of it, newswise. See, the Iraq war is fought off-budget. The coming mortgage crisis package, as half-assed as they are, will add a minimum of $25 billion (and in my estimation, more like $75 billion) to the budget deficit short term.
And this is before the warning shot that the IndyMac bank bailout foreshadows!
For example, the S&L crisis of the Reagan years...funny how these always happen under Republicans...cost the government $125 billion over ten years. This crisis could make that crisis look like a bad day at the track! A March 2008 report said that the subprime mortgage crisis alone could cost the government $300 to $500 billion dollars to solve.
So forget the Iraq invasion. Forget Katrina. Forget September 11, and his cowardly dash to safety.
George W Bush will go down in history as the first President to truly hate his country.