Congressional Democrats: Once again not practicing what they preach

Via the AP:

WASHINGTON — Democrats are using the same tricks as President Bush in their rival plan to balance the federal budget by 2012: ignoring long-term costs of the war in Iraq and the need to fix a tax law that threatens unsuspecting middle-class families.

Bush used phantom savings to claim he can balance the budget while extending his tax cuts into the future. Democrats would use that money to increase spending on education, health research and other domestic programs while claiming to be budget balancers.

“They say they balance, but they do it by leaving out things,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said on PBS’ “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” when Bush’s budget came out Feb. 5. “They leave out fixing the alternative minimum tax. They leave out realistic war cost.”

Bush’s one-year stopgap fix to the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, “will be felt by people as a huge tax increase” later on, Conrad, D-N.D., said later.

The same could be said of his own plan that arrived Tuesday on the Senate floor. It has only a two-year fix to the AMT.

Then there’s the war in Iraq. After proposing $145 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan for next year, Bush’s budget proposes just $50 billion for 2009 and none at all after that.

Conrad’s budget mirrors Bush’s war request. The same flaws that Democrats derided in Bush’s plan also exist in House Democrats’ budget plan. Both Democratic plans also don’t deal with scheduled cuts in the Medicare program.

“I concede your point,” House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt, D-S.C., said of similar omissions in his and Bush’s proposals.

Heh. He’d look a little silly otherwise. Well, sillier than normal, anyway.


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