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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Murtha, Terrorists Win: Bush Plans Cut, Run

The budget President Bush released yesterday includes no money for the war in Iraq after FY2007. That means that the President has no plans to spend money on the war starting on October 1, 2007. Since President Bush's budgets always have been honest, forthright declarations of his fiscal and other policy intentions, the most obvious explanation for omitting Iraq funding is this one: the President plans to start leaving Iraq soon, just as Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) proposed recently.

What was the point of electing George W. Bush in 2004 if he's going to go around appeasing like Murtha and other anti-military cowards?

The President's plan to cut and run means the terrrorists win!

Note for the tonally and contextually challenged: Everything above was sarcasm. I do not think the President plans to start leaving Iraq soon, just as I do not think he really plans to spend nothing on the war in Iraq (or the situation in Afghanistan) after October 1, 2007.

In fact, this President has a long and virtually uninterrupted record of releasing works of fiction (albeit rather dry ones) with a piece of paper declaring "Budget of the United States" tacked on top. In 2001 he started with the dishonest tax-cut stuff --- cuts that would "sunset" within a decade in order to mask their costs. Now---surprise, surprise---he wants to make those cuts permanent. So, you say, he's finally coming clean, right? Wrong

. In order to make the old cuts look "affordable", the President simply ignores the looming crisis in the Alternative Minimum Tax, which he knows Congress will have to deal with soon. So the tax cuts in this budget are actually very costly add-ons that no reasonable person (or even, possibly, Republican moderate) could support if the true budget situation were publicly understood.

And then there's the war funding, which every year has managed to be understated and/or ignored come budget time. Remember that inexpensive little jaunt Rummy, Wolfy, Bushie and Cheney promised? It's into several-hundred-billion-dollars territory now (and the explicit figures ignore all sorts of additional war expenses.

As for Murtha, well he's no one's anti-military guy, having supported DOD funding for decades. He's also no chicken-hawk, having served in Vietnam (though unlike the President he didn't risk flying training missions in the Texas skies).

And lastly, in case it needs to be said (after AG Gonzales's testimony yesterday, it might): no, criticizing the President's miserable performance---in fiscal policy, in prosecuting the war on terrorism, failing to catch Osama Bin Laden, on civil liberties, respect for the law, and so on---does not mean aiding terrorists.


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