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Friday, September 10, 2004

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 Liar liar pants on fire

As usual, today's Paul Krugman column nails it:
It's the dishonesty, stupid. The real issue in the National Guard story isn't what George W. Bush did three decades ago. It's the recent pattern of lies: his assertions that he fulfilled his obligations when he obviously didn't, the White House's repeated claims that it had released all of the relevant documents when it hadn't.

It's the same pattern of dishonesty, this time involving personal matters that the public can easily understand, that some of us have long seen on policy issues, from global warming to the war in Iraq. On budget matters, which is where I came in, serious analysts now take administration dishonesty for granted.

It wasn't always that way. Three years ago, those of us who accused the administration of cooking the budget books were ourselves accused, by moderates as well as by Bush loyalists, of being 'shrill.' These days the coalition of the shrill has widened to include almost every independent budget expert.... many reputable analysts think that the Bush administration routinely fakes even its short-term budget forecasts for the purposes of political spin. And the fakery in its long-term forecasts is much worse.

The administration claims to have a plan to cut the deficit in half over the next five years. But even Bruce Bartlett, a longtime tax-cut advocate, points out that 'projections showing deficits falling assume that Bush's tax cuts expire on schedule.' But Mr. Bush wants those tax cuts made permanent. That is, the administration has a 'plan' to reduce the deficit that depends on Congress's not passing its own legislation.

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