December 01, 2003
Dean: Fiscally Irresponsible
Steven's column let's me go off on Duck, M.D.'s flippant remark about last week's great GDP numbers. He stated, "[the] Bush administration’s fiscally irresponsible house of cards upon which this ‘growth’ is built cannot continue forever" (emphasis mine).
Duck, M.D., donning his economist cap, wants to be "fiscally responsible" by giving states and municipalities $100 billion over two years to "prime the pump" of job creation, pay for special education, and cover anti-terrorism costs to police and fire departments. That may all be well and good (except for their constitutionality), but does Duck, M.D. promise that the "Fund to Restore America" will dry up after its planned two years? Or will that just ossify into existing government spending to make it impossible to ever end?
But creating an entitlement to state and local government isn't Duck, M.D.'s only example of fiscal responsiblity. He also wants to spend $200 million to start a "Welcome Baby" program to "connect families and their children to the resources and services available to help them raise healthy, successful children" (government services most likely).
Then there's Duck, M.D.'s big budget item: universal health care. Based on an analysis by a health care consulting firm, it would cost $88.3 billion a year. Always be wary of estimates on the cost of government programs. Because the government doesn't opperate with the profit incentive, it's less inclined to control costs.
Dean's health care plan would be paid for by recinding some of President Bush's tax cuts. Since most economists think those tax cuts helped bring the economy out of recession, raising taxes might not be so good for the economy and subsequently the budget deficit.
So Duck, M.D. will subsidize state and local governments, welcome babies into the world, and provide health coverage for every American. While doing all this (and more) he'll balance the budget. How will he do this? By using the political bromide, "tough decisions."
"Dean Riding Steady Course to Party Crown"