U.S. fiscal follies

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Mon Nov 1 07:36:56 PST 1999

If by priority we mean allocations to different functions, there's not a heap of difference. Though it might be a good idea to check them against each other. could be interesting. I'll see what it looks like today or tomorrow.

No question the Repugs have a) busted the caps, and b) put the non-Social Security part of the budget in deficit. This whole shit storm amounts to a quarrel over about $20 billion. Total surplus for this FY is projected at $160 billion, and the R's take it down to $130 billion at minimum. A great victory, though not unexpected, for the Deflation Lobby and, I would argue, Bill's *real* priorities.

Tax share of GDP will stay flat (and high by historic standards, tho there has not been much variation in the share). Spending share will be flat too, though the composition changes -- less discretionary, more Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Military share will decrease to a limited extent.

What's going on is basically the Dems are torturing the Repugs on two counts -- the R's have busted the caps and run a "deficit" (excluding Social Security), and they are fighting a losing battle to marry tax cuts to the minimum wage bill. they're getting rolled on patients' rights as well.

The most interesting thing in all this is what Bradley *might* say about the moronic framework in which the budget is discussed, epitomized by Gore's attack on Bradley's health care proposal as fiscally irresponsible.


Max, time for a budget briefing. Today's NYT says the Reps have pretty much come around to Bill's priorities, despite all the posturing. They're busting the budget caps, too. What's going on? What are they spending money on? What are the president's priorities, and how can someone come around to them? Are we still on track for a decline in the federal share of GDP?


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