I managed to sit through the President's address last evening without throwing anything at the television harder than a few epitaphs, the strongest of which was probably "You damn liar".
One of the things I can not understand at all is the deficit. How can the President claim to have cut the deficit in half when it's higher this year than last? Am I wrong? Has the deficit really been halved?
First, we must balance the Federal budget. We can do so without raising taxes. What we need to do is impose spending discipline in Washington, D.C. We set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009 — and met that goal 3 years ahead of schedule. Now let us take the next step. In the coming weeks, I will submit a budget that eliminates the Federal deficit within the next 5 years. I ask you to make the same commitment. Together, we can restrain the spending appetite of the Federal Government, and balance the Federal budget.
Pretty straight forward statement isn't it the deficit has been cut in half 3 years early. Then why is the deficit the same as last year and the year before? I found the answer here. I also learned that I was working under what is probably a wide spread misunderstanding. I have always associated the deficit with the total debt of the country and I find that's wrong. The deficit is only the difference between income and outgo each year. And this President doesn't count the money he's borrowing from us as part of the deficit. No wonder Bush is so worried about Social Security. He's borrowing from that bank heavier than any President before him and not adding those figures to his deficit numbers. So folks every time the President tells you he's cut the deficit in half three years early, remember this, he learned his accounting from his good buddy "Kenny Boy" Lay.
I find myself more and more impressed with the new Senator fro Virginia every time I hear him speak. I think his closing last night was the right tone for the Democrats to take with Mr. Bush...
Webb concluded his speech with references to former presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Theodore Roosevelt and a warning for Bush:
"These presidents took the right kind of action for the benefit of the American people and for the health of our relations around the world. Tonight, we are calling on this president to take similar action in both areas. If he does, we will join him. If he does not, we will be showing him the way."