But the surpluses have turned into record deficits. President Bush is not about to take back his tax cuts, but in setting spending levels in the budget that he will deliver to Congress in the new year, he will single out a loser — perhaps several — for every winner.
Guess who's taking it in the shorts? Bush wouldn't spite the hand that fed him so he'll go right after the poor and elderly.
Medicare and Medicaid are prominent on Bush's likely hit list.
Doctors who serve Medicare patients are already threatened. Under current law, they will absorb a 5% reduction in their government reimbursement for treating Medicare beneficiaries as of Jan. 1, 2006.
Doctors barely headed off 4.5% cuts scheduled for 2004 and 2005 when Congress, in the bill establishing the Medicare prescription drug benefit, replaced those cuts with 1.5% increases.
The ultimate losers, he said, would be the elderly insured by Medicare. Before Congress reversed the cuts scheduled for 2004 and 2005, he said, a survey showed that 24% of family doctors would stop taking new Medicare patients if the cuts held up.
So now Bush sells it as no choice. If this guy won't roll back a tax cut or two in the name of war, then it is never going to happen. He has to prove he is better than his old man. Has there ever been a more bloody or expensive example of a son proving to his father that the son is better than the dad?
Will the Democrats be able to do anything but whine? Will they mount any sort of a defense? Or will they accept it as a done deal and try to just trim the edges? And all this as the next supplemental appropriation for our wars comes in at the $80 billion range. He is such an insufferable asshole. Bush and his wealthy cronies like Lil' Russ, everyone at Fox, Tweety, and the MSNBC crew have nothing to worry about because he is doing it for them, so it looks like we're on our own.