It's Alright, Ma, We're Only Bleeding…


The response of the Bush administration's budget director to questions about the cost of war with Iraq? "Dunno". (Other estimates range from $60 billion to $200 billion.)

What about federal deficits, not counting the Iraq stuff? Like Socrates, Mitch Daniels is only certain that he doesn't know how big the figure will be, or how long the red ink will spill. His best guesses? $200 billion to $300 billion this year and next, and for the "foreseeable future".

But not to worry. Since this is Republican administration, such shortfalls are currently "modest" and "manageable," and will remain so–for the foreseeable future. Why isn't that at all reassuring?

NEXT: Embarrassing Admissions

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  1. Tax cuts or not, we will pay through the nose — through the magic of inflation.

    But ignore me I am just a gold-bug kook.

  2. I would argue that some level of national deficit is manageable. The government simply borrows the difference via T-Bonds, Notes, and Bills and pays it back with interest to the Bond, Note, or Bill-holder. As long as the economy continues to expand, this is a sound business strategy. If the economy stops expanding, this is a formula for inflation and general misery (see the late 1970s / early 1980s).

  3. Actually, Rummy DOES know. He says “I know, but I’m not going to tell you.” See, telling the American people how much of their money their overlords are spending would give “the enemy” too much information. That’s true, in a sense–we just need to ask some pointed questions about who the real enemy is, in Rumsfield’s view.

    Reminds me of a National Lampoon comic parody, “Gordon Liddy: Agent of CREEP,” in which Nixon’s plumbers were fighting to thwart “an insidious plot to overthrow the U.S. government by defeating it in an election.”

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