Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 16, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

2010 SHOULD BE A HELLUVA YEAR....Do you notice a trend in the following major pieces of George Bush legislation?

  • The Bush tax cuts produced deficits that everyone agrees were a useful short-term stimulus for a stalled economy. However, although the deficits should flatten a bit for the next couple of years, the CBO estimates that they will pick up steam starting in 2007 and will become catastrophic by around 2010. Using real-world estimates (the bottom line of the chart at right), we will begin running a steady $700-800 billion deficit every single year by 2010.

  • The No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2001, gradually raises the minimum standards for schools to be deemed successful with "unsuccessful" schools suffering severe consequences. These standards will start to become noticably harsh and unrealistic around 2007 or so, and will eventually require an absurd 100% compliance by 2014.

  • The weird and probably unpopular benefits structure of the Medicare bill just passed does not take effect until 2006. In addition, the much touted "competition" pilot projects which are likely to be very unpopular don't start until 2010.

Compare this to, say, Clinton's proposed health plan, or his welfare reform, which were designed to take effect almost immediately, or a program like AmeriCorps, which started up within months of the enabling legislation.

Now, I know that I'm naturally suspicious of my brethren across the aisle, but doesn't it seem odd that all these major pieces of Bush administration legislation, which Republicans assure us will prove that conservative methods produce real results, don't take effect until George Bush is either safely reelected or out of office entirely? It's almost like they're afraid they won't work. Or that people will hate them. Or something.

I wonder what they're afraid of?

Kevin Drum 9:37 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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