Conservative Viewpoints

"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan



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Democrats using smoke and mirrors with budget numbers

Posted by Stephen on March 14, 2007

Democrats recently claimed that the budget submitted by the White House relied on optimistic numbers to secure a balanced budget by 2012. Tuesday Democrats unveiled their plan which claims to accomplish a balanced budget by the same date while also increasing funding to health care for children and eliminating the controversial Alternative Minimum Tax. The plan also claims to be able to extend the President’s tax cuts through 2010.

“We believe some of the tax cuts will be extended. Perhaps all of them will be,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) said during a late-afternoon briefing for reporters at his Capitol Hill office. “You can extend any or all of them, if you pay for them.”

The cost is estimated to be 800 billion dollars over five years. Conrad and Democrats claim that Bush’s budget is misleading because it does not include expenses tied to the war in Iraq. Either does Conrad’s.

Conrad’s budget includes about $145 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for 2008, and $50 billion for 2009. And while Conrad’s budget would halt the expansion of the alternative minimum tax for two years rather than one, as the Bush budget does, Conrad, too, assumes that revenue from the AMT would continue to roll in thereafter.

Bush and Conrad “both come out to a balanced budget by 2012, but it’s through equally improbable routes,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a group dedicated to deficit reduction. “It’s sort of an Alice in Wonderland approach to the budget.”

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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