Sunday, January 04, 2009

Jerk Harry Reid: Dubya is "worst president" for trying to save us from fiscal oblivion

I'd like to use stronger language but my kids read this blog sometimes. Actually, I force them to read it to pump up my traffic.

The Senate majority leader was on "Meet the Press" this morning where he managed to make an ass of himself on questions ranging from the Burris nomination to the war in Iraq as an exasperated David Gregory tried to pin him down. When asked if he stood behind his statement that Dubya was the "worst president ever" Reid used the Popeye Defense by saying "I am what I am" (whatever that means.) But when pressed to qualify the statement, Reid immediately jumped on President Bush's attempt to "destroy Social Security" and Medicare.

I'm still getting over a cold so thank heaven that Rob at Say Anything has filled in the rest:

So because Bush tried to fix the two biggest domestic threats facing this country - run-away spending on Social Security and Medicare - he’s the worst President in history?

With Democrats in charge again I doubt we’ll see any progress toward fixing those programs, but that doesn’t mean hacks like Reid get to conveniently forget just how much of a problem they represent. For all the carping we do about government spending on things like the war in Iraq and Congressional pay and bailouts, it’s worth remembering that we spend over $1 trillion a year on entitlements in this country, and Social Security and Medicare represent the largest chunks of that spending.

That $1 trillion, in fact, is more than the rest of the world (including us) spends on all the war and all the military that exists.

That’s a problem, and I’ll never accuse any President of being a bad leader for trying to rein that in.
Here's a relevant graph by the Congressional Budget Office:

In 1950, the government outlays were essentially the Interstate Highway System, aircraft carriers, and interest on the debt to win World War II. Our near-future presents an American government that spends nearly every tax dollar on entitlement spending. What say you, non-partisan Congressional Budget Office?

According to the projected path for the budget shown in this report, outlays for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (based on the current rules for benefits) would nearly double again as a share of GDP by 2035, rising to 15 percent. If spending for all other government activities in 2035 remained roughly the same share of GDP as projected for 2012 (7 percent), Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would account for almost 70 percent of all noninterest expenditures. By 2050, outlays for the three programs would equal 17 percent of GDP and by 2075, 21 percent--exceeding the share of GDP now absorbed by all federal revenues.
I can't believe Bush tried to do something about that! Well, good luck to you Harry Reid, because it's all in the Democrats' laps now. And no whining when the Republicans demagogue the issue for political gain; they know a winning strategy when they see it, right?

Extra - Bitsblog: "Dirty Harry Reid, dumber than a brick"


Anonymous said...

From the current Harper's Index:

Estimated percentage by which Social Security benefits would have declined if Bush’s privatization plan had passed: –15

Percentage change since 2001 in the average amount U.S. workers spend on out-of-pocket medical expenses: +172

Portion of all U.S. income gains during the Bush Administration that have gone to the top 1 percent of earners: 3/4

Eric said...

Before I started this blog, I used to make a living (not really) debunking the Harper's Index. It's the modern epitome of "lies, damn lies, and statistics."