Friday, September 16


President Bush, true to form, affirmed today on the heels of last night's address to the nation from New Orleans that he will not seek tax increases to fund his broad-based commitment to federally-funded recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

According to the Associated Press (AP):

President Bush on Friday ruled out raising taxes to pay for Gulf Coast reconstruction, saying other government spending must be cut. "You bet it will cost money, but I'm confident we can handle it," he said.

"It's going to cost whatever it's going to cost, and we're going to be wise about the money we spend," Bush said a day after laying out an expensive plan for rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast without spelling out how he would pay for it.

Bush said it's important that government quickly fix the region's infrastructure to give people hope. Asked who would pay for the work and how it would impact the nation's rising debt, Bush said he was confident the United States could pay for reconstruction "and our other priorities."

He said that means "cutting unnecessary spending" and maintaining economic growth, "which means we should not raise taxes."

Cutting "unnecessary spending?" Didn't none other than House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) just tell the nation this week that there's no fat left to trim? No specifics, of course, from the president; and no track record of his doing this sort of budget-cutting to fund the war on terror (he hasn't even exercised his veto powers). And no top-stop delta on the budget deficit.

Well, conservatives are unhappy -- this writer among them!

For some conservative Republicans this may approach heresy, but I find a lot worth thinking about in this column of Jonathan Chait's in the "Los Angeles Times."

HAT-TIP: "AnkleBitingPundits"