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Thursday, February 10, 2005


What's missing - the Iraqi vote? The successful Iraqi vote? Not a word.

Ding! We have a winner. The most dramatic images to come out of the Middle East in decades and they don't warrant the front cover of the major news magazines in our country? 1500 Americans die to give other people the right to self government, 8 million Iraqis defy the very real threats against their lives to vote, and it doesn't warrant top coverage?

All too believable in today's media.... and all too disgusting.

I haven't even mentioned the fact that the cover stories on two of the papers take a pessimistic view of Iraq -- "How Soon Can We Get Out" and "Can the Iraqis Take Charge?" (You are supposed to think, "No.").

4. Q&A Guy - how can the GOP keep the image of fiscal responsibility when they spend, spend, spend like the othe party? How can the President think he can cut the deficit with the war, social security transition costs, etc?

I used to be a Kasich Republican. Cut, cut cut. I still am. But I am also a convert to Kemp's doctrine that we need to grow out of deficits. That was the key during the 1990s. We didn't cut anything. The economy expanded even quicker than Congress could spend (and that is saying something).

We need to always keep in mind that there are two elements to deficits -- spending and revenues. The critics of Reagan say -- ah, he raised taxes and there were deficits. In fact, revenues doubled under the Reagan tax cuts (and yes, despite some backsliding in 1986, the cuts under Reagan were still dramatic), but spending increased even faster.

Bush has pushed through the tax cuts we needed (and we could still use more) but, like Reagan, he failed to control Congress. It is tough to fight both battles at once. Luckily, the Democrats set him up for at least a measure of success by criticizing Bush pointedly in the campaign for spending too much. Now, he can give them what they asked for. Cue the screaming.

Cutting government spending will have minimal impact on the economy since, for the most part, that capital has better things to do than provide another make work government program or pork project. If local governments want sidewalks installed, by god, they should install them and pay for it themselves. Why do we have a community development block grant program anyhow? What a waste. Why should someone in New York pay for someone in Idaho's sidewalk?

The reality is, we could probably cut the federal budget by 10% without batting an eye. This will take enormous political guts by the President. But he seems to realize that using political capital successfully creates political capital, it doesn't deplete it.

Oh, I almost forgot. The war was really about stealing the oil revenues of the Iraqis. We can admit that now that the election is over. Pretty soon, the Saudis will be buying oil from US! So paying for the war should be relatively easy.

5. Q&A Guy - how well can Condi 'mend fences' with Europe without aligning the U.S. with the European expectations of 'general consensus' with the 'International Community?'

Three words: Ambassador Jerry Lewis.

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