Balanced Budget By 2012! slashing veterans benefits. How's that for supporting the troops?

The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans' health care two years from now — even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012.

After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly — by more than 10 percent in many years — White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter. Read more...

A balanced budget would be nice only if Bush's proposal actually achieved that. Even the typically wankerish David Broder calls out the BS:

Experience has taught us that the Bush administration's budget cannot be judged by its cover - or by the cover letter the president puts at the start of each year's volume.

The message he released last week was headlined by the Page 1 declaration that "the budget I am presenting achieves balance by 2012."

It would be wonderful were deficits to disappear - if only it were true. But on the final page of the document, in Table S-10 on page 172, one learns the disturbing truth. In fiscal 2012, the president's target year, the gross federal debt will - by his own estimate - grow by $372 billion. Read more...


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.