Gore Joins Max in Spending the Surplus

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Thu Aug 24 23:35:02 PDT 2000


The NTU does some of the stoopidest shit in the universe. It takes an act of will to read their material. I suppose I'll give it a look when I do my campaign budget piece. The lead graph you supply is not encouraging. First they get the surplus projection number wrong, then they talk about using up the surplus without uttering the phrase 'tax cut.'

I started collecting campaign material to see how the budget stuff adds up but am holding off for the moment due to other work. But I will rule on this matter before too long.

As I mentioned last week, Gore laid down some markers in his speech that encouraged me because they were sufficiently specific as to be somewhat less easy to squirm out of. Namely providing health care for all children, universal preschool, the prescription drug benefit (the design of which I don't much like -- half of spending up to $5K a year. I'd rather see some cost-sharing up to a ceiling, then 100% coverage.) If I was sure Gore would come thru on these, you would not here the word 'ralph' pass my lips. But I've been here before, when much smaller commitments were reneged on in the name of fiscal discipline, and before there was any reason to uphold such principles. If anything, Gore is stronger on the dogma of fiscal discipline than Clinton ever has been, hence my pessimism.

Gore seems to be hurting Nader's numbers as much as Bush's, roughly speaking. I predicted Gore would be creaming Bush by now. Didn't quite get it, tho Gore is creaming Bush in New Jersey, my home state, and if Bush can't compete in New Jersey, he's in deep doo-doo. We got a lot of nasty fucks in the Garden State.

A few more speeches like in Iowa (in reference to trade, Bush swore he would eliminate 'terriers and bailiffs,' or something like that), and the national rout will begin. When you're an idiot, it's hard to hide it from constant national television surveillance. I think this matters more now than w/Reagan because in 1980 people were after a few simple things and RR addressed their concerns. Now the electorate's expectations seem to be different.


> Well, according to the National Taxpayers Union, Gore is
following Max's
> advice and spending the surplus. So Max, has Gore joined
the EPI on
> spending or are the NTU numbers distorted? - Nathan
> See http://www.ntu.org/2000Elec/ntufib127.html
> First part of article:
> Risky Schemes and Squandered Opportunities:
> A Comparison of Al Gore's and George W. Bush's Spending
> NTU Foundation Issue Brief 127
> By Tom E. McClusky
> August 18, 2000
> Both major political conventions may be behind us and
Election Day may be
> mercifully closing in, but a long campaign trail paved
with costly
> political promises confronts Vice President Al Gore and
Governor George W.
> Bush. How would the price tags of their presidential
agendas affect the
> current projected surplus, and with them the fortunes of
the American
> economy?
> Following an extensive examination of the two Presidential
> speeches, press releases, agendas, issue briefs, and fact
sheets by
> National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), in this time
of a projected
> ten-year surplus of $2.173 trillion1 both candidates are
campaigning on
> who can spend the surplus quicker -- and one of them has
pulled far ahead.
> As seen in Table 1, Governor Bush, while addressing issues
not usually
> associated with Republicans such as education, health
care, and low-income
> housing, would like to increase annual spending by over
$42 billion a
> year, or $425 billion over ten years. The Democratic
candidate, Al Gore,
> approaches traditional Republican issues like national
defense and crime,
> and ends up with a total five times larger than his
opponent -- an
> increase in spending of over $233 billion a year (see
Table 2). As Figure
> 1 illustrates, Vice President Gore's total agenda over ten
years would
> equal $2.334 trillion, swallowing all of the surplus - -
actually creating
> a deficit of $161 billion.

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