Thursday, September 15, 2005

Operation Poll Number Prop Commencing 

You know there are times when you really have to hand it to the Bush White House. They'll do and say absolutely anything to save their political bacon. Anything. They'll betray their own values, conservatism, fiscal responsibility, everything that they supposedly hold dear -- all to save their own asses.

Anyway, let's go ahead and recap the situation: Your administration has just badly bungled the response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster to the tune of (probably) more than a thousand dead. Predictably, poll numbers are dropping fast, nearing Nixonian low points. This president is likely to go down as the least popular on average since Herbert Hoover. Heck, I suspect Jimmy Carter was more popular probably on average than this guy has been.

So, here's your administration's "solution" to this political problem: Propose an enormous aid package to rebuild the Gulf Coast -- estimates I'm hearing now are on the order of $200B in addition to the $60B you've already appropriated. Look at that number again, folks. That's $260B more borrowed to pay for these projects. And you've hemmed your opponents in politically by doing this. Any criticism can be portrayed as unpatriotic and even (get this) "racist" (and I assure you it will be).

What will be the consequences of this "solution?": A deficit that will soon be consuming so much of our annual outlays that there will be no room for funding anything. This will lead to a deficit problem like we've never seen before I suspect. And then W will hand off this fiscal disaster to his successor and head off into the sunset.

Now, folks, don't get me wrong. I think this sort of program sounds like a good idea. I would just suggest that we actually figure out a way to actually pay for it. How about you? Why don't we roll back W's tax cuts and actually raise taxes on the rich folks a bit? If we did that, then we could afford this.

And who will benefit from this enormous aid package? Eventually, of course, the people of the Gulf Coast but the real winners will be the president's corporate cronies. Halliburton will be rolling in dough.

It'll cost two or three times as much as it would if we'd actually follow federal bidding guidelines but, hey, who wants to do that? Why, when you can enrich your corporate contributors, would you ever do that?

The sheer mendacity and amoral political opportunism behind this thing is absolutely amazing.

I really don't know what else to say. I'm at a loss.

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