Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

KERRY ON SPENDING....Unfortunately, I have to agree that promising to enforce spending caps "except in the areas of security, education, health care and Social Security" doesn't exactly inspire visions of tightfisted fiscal rectitude. At a rough guess, those four areas account for about 80% of the federal budget, so capping the little that remains is a bit like cutting your fingernails as a way to lose weight.

So why did John Kerry say something so transparently silly? Beats me, although I suppose it sounds good on the evening news since most people probably think these four areas are a mere drop in the budget bucket and Kerry is planning to cap great huge swathes of spending. As near as I can tell, the average joe thinks "welfare" accounts for about a quarter of the budget, foreign aid for a quarter, waste and fraud for another quarter, and all the worthwhile stuff competes for the tiny sliver left over.

As policy, then, there's nothing much here. But at a gossip level there was this:

He also pointed out that he has been working with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, on legislation that would "end corporate welfare as we know it."

...."John McCain can't get anyone in the Bush White House to listen to our proposal," he said. "If I'm president, John McCain will get the first pen when I sign this bill into law."

Hmmm, I wonder why he'd go out of his way to give props to John McCain that way....?

Kevin Drum 8:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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