Election About Bankrupting America

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On November 2, you can vote for Sen. John Kerry and bankrupting America. Or, you can vote for Bush and bankrupt America twice as fast. This is according to new research and reports from government agencies and other institutions who are adding up the numbers of Kerry and Bush campaign promises. In the final analysis, if Bush wins, our national debt will reach over 11 Trillion dollars and under Kerry about 9 trillion dollars, so far.

An excelent article on this subject appears in the Washington Post. What isn't mentioned in the article is the penchant the Bush administration has for underestimating the costs of its programs. The Medicare legislation that President Bush pushed for in Congress had a price tag according to the White House in January of 530 billion dollars, or 1/3 more than advertised before the bill passed. This was reported in the NY Times by Robert Pear.

This failure by the administration to confess to the real cost of the Medicare overhaul legislation is now not only adding to the national debt, but is going to cost senior citizens dearly as well. The White House, according to USA Today, announced early this month that "Monthly payments for Part B of the government health care program for older and disabled Americans - doctor visits and most other non-hospital expenses - will jump to $78.20 from $66.60, a 17% increase..." For those on fixed incomes, this is going to hurt. Another USA Today story reports

Information the Bush administration excluded from its 2004 report on the Medicare program shows that a typical 65-year-old can expect to spend 37% of his or her Social Security income on Medicare premiums, co-payments and out-of-pocket expenses in 2006. That share is projected to grow to almost 40% in 2011 and nearly 50% by 2021.

President Bush estimated that our costs in Iraq would be reimbursed by about 2 Billion in 2003 and more in 2004 to come from Iraq's oil revenues. That never materialized. In fact, the Washington Post article above states "The war in Iraq alone costs $4 billion a month, but the president's annual budget does not reflect that cost." That does not include the costs of the 'war against terrorists' in Afghanistan and the transfer payments being made to Pakistan and other nations in return for their cooperation. The Post article goes on to state

A staple of Bush's stump speech is his claim that his Democratic challenger, John F. Kerry, has proposed $2 trillion in long-term spending, a figure the Massachusetts senator's campaign calls exaggerated. But the cost of the new tax breaks and spending outlined by Bush at the GOP convention far eclipses that of the Kerry plan.

In fact, the estimates of Bush's campaign promises are reaching by some estimates over the $4 Trillion mark added to the national debt. The Washington Post reports

Peter R. Orszag, a senior fellow in economic policy at the Brookings Institution, said a conservative estimate for the cost of Bush's permanent tax cuts and Social Security accounts would be about $4 trillion over 10 years. But Bush's agenda was vague and did not include details of how he would add Social Security accounts.

So, according to President Bush, Kerry would put Americans $2 trillion dollars closer to bankruptcy, while examiners of Bush's promises put his costs at over $4 trillion dollars. No matter how one slices it, the Bush agenda takes America toward bankruptcy twice as fast as Kerry.

Let there be no mistake. Behind the scenes, economists are getting worried. These kind of national debt levels may not be so troublesome if we had a never ending GDP growth rate of 4 to 5% and trade surpluses. But that is not, and very likely will not, be the case. As Reuters reports on the 2nd quarter trade deficit:

The gap -- the broadest measure of trade and investment flows between the United States and the rest of the world -- came in well above analysts' expectations for a $159.35 billion shortfall and could fan concerns about the U.S. dollar and the nation's ability to continue to fund the deficit.
And note the deficit of which they speak is the current 7.4 trillion dollars.

(For those who like context, an 11 trillion dollar national debt equals an average tax obligation for every working person in America of $78,571.00)

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on September 15, 2004 2:50 PM.

Why This Election Can't Be Predicted was the previous entry in this blog.

Is God Voting For Bush? is the next entry in this blog.

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