Monday, January 26, 2004


The following is from the "NTUF which is the research and educational arm of the National Taxpayers Union, a non-profit citizen group founded in 1969. Note: NTUF Policy Paper 148, The Return of Fuzzy Math and Risky Schemes: How Presidential Hopefuls Would Deepen Deficits, is available online at Also available are detailed reports, separated into policy categories, on each candidate's platform costs."

"For Immediate Release Jan 19, 2004
Study: EVERY Democrat Presidential Candidate's Platform Would Raise, Not Lower, Federal Budget Deficits

(Alexandria, VA) -- Long on rhetoric, short on restraint: that's the conclusion of a detailed review of each Democratic Presidential candidate's fiscal policy agenda released today by the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF). Despite expressing concern over red ink in the federal budget, every one of the eight hopefuls would worsen the deficit by billions or even trillions of dollars.

"All the Presidential challengers have to varying degrees disparaged the current size of federal deficits," said study author and NTUF Policy Analyst Drew Johnson. "Yet, our examination of the candidates' spending promises reveals an inconvenient fact: the deficit potholes they're complaining about on the road to the White House would only deepen under their own policies."

The NTUF study systematically examined the fiscal policy implications of the eight contenders' agendas, using campaign and third-party sources (like the Congressional Budget Office) to assign a cost to each budget proposal offered by the candidates. For actual legislation that the candidates have endorsed, the study also relies on NTUF's BillTally project, a computerized accounting system that has, since 1991, tabulated the cost or savings of every piece of legislation introduced in Congress with a net annual impact of $1 million or more. Highlights of the study include:

If the policy agenda of any one of the eight candidates were enacted in full, annual federal spending would rise by at least $169.6 billion (Lieberman) and as much as $1.33 trillion (Sharpton). This would translate to a yearly budget hike of between 7.6% and 59.5%.
All candidates offer platforms that call for more spending than would be offset by repealing the Bush tax cuts (using even generous estimates of the tax cuts' impact).
The eight candidates have proposed over 200 ideas to increase federal spending, and only two that would cut federal spending. Those two proposals have been offered by Dennis Kucinich (thus, the seven other candidates haven't made a single proposal to cut any spending).
Although they may attempt to stress their policy differences, Howard Dean and Wesley Clark would both increase annual federal outlays by roughly the same amount ($222.9 billion vs. $220.7 billion, respectively).
Among those candidates considered to be "competitive," Dick Gephardt posts the largest annual spending increase ($368.8 billion), far ahead of John Kerry ($265.11 billion).
Johnson noted that the study "does not even consider that the temptation to spend more money can increase after entering the White House." George W. Bush, for example, who campaigned as a fiscal conservative in 2000, has presided over a jump in federal spending of 23.7% since taking office. Yet, Johnson still found that even the most parsimonious of the Democrat Presidential candidates would have outpaced the spending run-up under Bush by 15%.

"During the 2000 Presidential election, the candidates traded charges of 'fuzzy math' and 'risky schemes' over each other's fiscal policy proposals," Johnson concluded. "Given the results of this study, many deficit-conscious Americans may be wondering if such terms are applicable to the 2004 race too.""

But then there is this:

My take on the Golden Globe:

1. Glad that Renee Zellweger won. She was great in Cold Mountain. I see she hasn't lost all of her fat from the last Bridget movie – but she looks better and not like she is starving.

2. Jim Carrey looks horrible bald, but he looks worse with hair.

3. They could have been nicer to that guy from Afghanistan who won best foreign film.

4. Can't stand Sean Penn; ditto Tim Robbins.

5. Very glad that The Office and Ricky Gervais – but why didn't the Dallas Morning News mention it. Don't they realize there those of us in Dallas that do actually watch BBCA. On another note – The Office beat Friends, et al. ha!

6. Speaking those of countries – Anthony Lapaglia who is from Australia – won for Without a Trace. Double ha! Of course, this wasn't mentioned in the Dallas Morning News. They must think that Dallas is the only spot on earth and those who live there do not know anything about other parts of the world.

7. Best Dress: Cherlize Theron. Worst: whoops to you – Nicole Kiddman – who missed it definitely this time.

8. Worst dress for men: any one of them who wore sloppy tuxes and oh yes, Elton John - but you expect it from him so it doesn't count. Best dress: Anthony LaPaglia.

9. Best of all: Lord of the Rings is finally getting its due.

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