Thursday, September 16, 2004

Fiction v. Reality

Thanks to guest poster Michael Webber for his thoughts on the state of the presidential race:

As Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times two Sundays ago, "Only in an election year ruled by fiction could a sissy who used Daddy's connections to escape Vietnam turn an actual war hero into a girlie-man." But, isn't this type of fiction what we've come to expect from an administration and campaign run by President Bush?

Just last week, the Associated Press reported that projections from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office include a record federal deficit for this year of $422 billion, and a cumulative deficit over the next 10 years of $2.3 trillion. And, just in case it isn't obvious how big $2.3 trillion is, it looks like $2,300,000,000,000, and is approximately the size of our nation's entire annual budget. Remarkably, "Republicans hailed the figures as good news" because the projection is slightly lower than previously estimated.

Other news in the last week confirmed tepid job growth in an economy that "still has about one million fewer jobs now than it did when Mr. Bush took office in January 2001" and a 17% increase in Medicare premiums, causing House Budget Chairman Jim Nussle, R- Iowa, to neatly conclude that "This report underscores that our policies are working to create a stronger economy, more jobs and a lower deficit." Huh? They want credit for job growth when in reality 144,000 jobs created in August is far short of their lofty projections and doesn't reach the 150,000 jobs per month needed to just break even (i.e. put people just entering the work force to work.) And need we remind you when the news of the 17% increase in Medicare premiums was released? The Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend.

Over and over again, we see a stark contrast between reality and what the Bush team says. This is truly a campaign based on smoke and mirrors, utilizing the time honored "if we repeat it enough it will seem true" method of campaigning and governing. Electing John Kerry in November won't just be restoring fiscal discipline and responsible foreign policy to the White House, it will be returning a much needed dose of reality to our lives.


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