The Coastal Post - September, 1997

The Budget Deal Is A Bust

BY ARTHUR SOBEY

That new federal budget deal that has Washington politicians celebrating will actually prolong balancing the budget and offers no real solutions, according to California gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby.

"Corrupt politicians have sunk to yet another new low, by lying to the American public, and postponing any real budget balancing until five years from now," says Kubby.

Kubby is not alone in expressing his outrage over the budget deal. Speaking on the Jim Lehrer Newshour, William Niskanen, Chairman of the Cato Institute and former chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers said, "In the name of balancing the budget, our political leaders have done what they most like to do: increase spending and reduce taxes for favored constituencies."

Niskanen has a stern warning for taxpayers, "It's much more important for the American public, however, to realize what is not in this budget deal. It does not reduce the deficit faster than if there were no deal. It does not increase economic growth. It does not control entitlements. In fact, it added two new entitlements: one for kiddie care and one for college education. It does not restructure defense to reflect the realities of the post-Cold War world and it does not move toward tax reform. It does nothing to limit the relative size of government in the United States."

"Don't pop the cork on that champagne bottle so quickly," warns Steve Dasbach, Libertarian Party national chairman. "This budget deal is a raw deal for taxpayers and a sweetheart deal for politicians."

"Why are Republicans and Democrats so happy about this budget?" asked Dasbach. "It's because they get all their favorite things: more federal revenue to spend, more federal programs to administer, and a more complicated tax code that allows them to pick economic winners and losers."

"The only folks who aren't celebrating are average Americans, who get minuscule tax cuts wrapped in complicated tax-code red tape-while the total cost of the federal government goes up."

At news conferences over the past several days, President Clinton said the new budget is "fabulous." Congressman John Kasich (R-OH), House Budget Committee Chairman, gushed that "it's a dream come true." And House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) called it a "bipartisan victory."

Dasbach disagreed. "The deal is fabulous for politicians, who can keep micro-managing our economic decisions with the tax code," he said. "It's a dream come true for politicians, who have more of our money to spend. And it's a victory for politicians, who can augment their empires with new federal programs.

"But for ordinary Americans, the long national nightmare of out-of-control federal taxing and spending continues. This budget deal doesn't change that. In fact, it makes it worse."

Niskanen agrees and blames politicians for playing games with the budget. "If Congress went home, the budget would be balanced faster than with this deal. The budget deficit this year will be on the order of 40 to 50 billion dollars. It would be easy to balance the budget next year, not in the year 2002, if either the President or Congress, or preferably both, were at all serious about it."

"In fact, this budget deal puts any real budget balancing decisions off until the year 2002. It would be so easy to balance the budget in 1998. I tend not to pay much attention to promises by politicians that are two congressional elections and one presidential election away. This budget follows in the footsteps of all its predecessors. Most of the presumed budget cuts will be made in the years 2001 and 2002, years beyond the political life expectancy of most of these politicians.

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