January 14, 2005

What We're Up Against

The administration gets much legitimate criticism for profligate spending under its watch.

Legitimate because my guy has pushed two very expensive expansions to entitlements in the Medicare Drug Benefit and the No Child Left Behind Act (must...resist...crack...about...Armstrong...). No, he is not a Reaganite, small government conservative.

Yet nobody seems to credit the administration with just how hard reform is. If they cut $10 from an ineffective program, and give $20 more to one that works, the headline will be "Bush Cuts $10 from Poor!"

Don't believe me? Here is the Lead Editorial in my WaPo politics mail alert this morning: "Bush Plans Sharp Cuts in HUD Community Efforts."

The White House will seek to drastically shrink the Department of Housing and Urban Development's $8 billion community branch, purging dozens of economic development projects, scrapping a rural housing program and folding high-profile anti-poverty efforts into the Labor and Commerce departments, administration officials said yesterday.

"drastically shrink," "purging," "scrapping," and "folding high-profile anti-poverty efforts," all in the lede.

Obviously, this President likes poverty. Or does he? The second paragraph doesn't use bold language, but admits:

The proposal in the upcoming 2006 budget would make good on President Bush's vow to eliminate or consolidate what he sees as duplicative or ineffective programs. Officials said yesterday that economic development programs are scattered too widely in the government and have proved particularly ineffectual at HUD.

Those who don't have time for all that reading can just read the caption below Barney Franks's picture: "Rep. Barney Frank calls the proposal 'just appalling.' "

Posted by jk at January 14, 2005 08:26 AM

You're right, since most of the spending actually occurs within HUD and 'other' spending is scatterred throughout other agencies, cutting HUD will save taxpayers the most money and have the largest effect on the budget. These cuts are occuring in the name of improving the balance sheet, in light of the massive increases in tax revenues that have occurred because of our tax cuts. You're clearly a great patriot and a good American.


Posted by: Dick Cheney at January 15, 2005 01:24 AM
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