Alex's Outlook

Monday, June 23, 2003

According to the Wall Street Journal editors, the US had $50 trillion - yeah, almost 500% of GDP - in unfunded liabilities. But Bush is so hell-bent on buying votes and building a great GOP coalition so he can, uh...cut taxes more...I mean cut spending more...oh yeah, everything is a sacred cow now so we can't cut anything! What the hell does Bush want a GOP coalition for now that he's co-opted the Democrats on education, Medicare, farm subsidies, tariffs and big government? (Memo to Karl Rove: the Leave No Democrat Behind education advantage that Bush bought with so many billions of taxpayer dollars is now gone, even though it may have gotten him a Senate seat or two. The Democrats now enjoy the same old advantage on education that they always had. Are we now going to see Bush throw away $7.5 trillion on a prescription drug entitlement so he can get one more Senate seat in 2004, only to lose that advantage in 2006? How much in entitlement money is one Senate seat worth??)

I don't even see any logic in this if Bush is planning amass political capital to appoint prolife justices on the Supreme Court. (That was my best attempt at rationalizing this latest explosion in government, in case you were wondering.) For a lot people, however, the pro-life/pro-choice issue is larger than any other, and throwing away a few trillion at prescription drugs isn't going to change how most people feel about prolife justices or how they will vote in November 04.

I am really starting to wonder if I can support Bush and "compassionate conservatism" anymore. Compassionate conservatism - ie big government liberalism - doesn't work if you cut taxes at the same time, as this year's fat deficit shows. (Even if this year's deficit, big as it is, is sustainable over the long run, the US government will have to assume major responsibilities over its entitlement programs that will make this year's deficit a drop in the bucket.)

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