Saturday, August 30, 2003

Lawmakers Getting Mad About Being Played For Fools By Bush

With the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reporting this week that the federal budget deficit is approaching a record $500 billion, lawmakers are furious about the way the administration has played them for fools when it comes to paying for Iraq. “The Iraqis ask, ‘Why can’t you turn on the lights?’ We have a George C. Marshall plan with a Grover Norquist budget,” says a Senate Republican.

Norquist is known as “Mr. Tax Cut.” He’s president of Americans for Tax Reform and the grinch who steers the GOP’s antitax movement. Cutting taxes is the holy grail for the Republican right, but draining the treasury runs counter to national security. There isn’t enough money to properly fund homeland security or pick up the pace of reconstruction in Iraq, though the administration will be back for a war “supplemental” when Congress returns next week. That’s Washington-speak for billing the taxpayers, who pay for the war with reduced government services at home.

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