Alex's Outlook

Thursday, April 24, 2003

The battle over the size of Bush's tax cut a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/24/national/24CND-BUSH.html">continues, with neither George Voinovich, the rebellious Republican senator from Ohio, nor Bush willing to budge. Voinovich has complained about the deficit and wants unspecified budget cuts to make up for the tax cuts. That's a good idea, but Voinovich knows it's a pipe dream. The fact of the matter is that the Republican Congress has become addicted to pork.

The Cato Institute has identified $80bn a year of corporate welfare. That would be a good start. If Congress slashed even half of it on top of the $70bn/year Bush tax cut, it the final cut would "cost" $300 billion over ten years. The Republicans could kill the capital-gains tax too, and they would still come out fairly close to the $350 billion line drawn by the Republican rebels. Instead, the Republicans bailed out a bunch of extremely inefficient airlines in the name of "national security", even as the Southwest and JetBlue airlines posted high profits.

Sometimes the Republicans are just hypocrites. Besides banning partial-birth abortion, the GOP hasn't even done anything worthwhile since 2002. All they seem to be able to do is appropriate record amounts of pork.

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