The Predicate

How to pay for Katrina

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Tim Grieve in the Salon War Room sums up how the Government is going to pay for the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. He writes:

So the federal government needs $200 billion to cover the costs of Hurricane Katrina. No problem, says a group of conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives. As the New York Times reports this morning, they've got a plan to whack $500 billion out of the federal budget over the next 10 years.

Here's what you do. You delay the start of the Medicare prescription drug benefit for seniors, saving $31 billion. You carve out $25 billion worth of pork from the transportation bill. You bail on NASA's fabulously ill-timed $104 billion proposal to put a man on the moon again. You finally kill off the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and pick up $4 billion in the process. You cut for funding political conventions and for the Presidential Election Campaign Fund ($600 million), and you start charging federal employees for parking ($1.5 billion). And then you find an additional $334 billion to cut from somewhere else.

If that sounds a little draconian for your tastes, there's always the Bush administration's alternative plan, which is ... which is ... well, what? The president last week ruled out raising taxes to pay for Katrina relief, but his administration seems to be getting wobbly on that vow.

I find it difficult to believe that the President can manage a war, a disaster (or two, Hurricane Rita) and a huge deficit with no increase in taxes, or even without reconsidering the tax cuts given to high wage earners. Tax cuts with Deficit spending doesn't look right. But, for now, President Bush has said 'No more taxes'. Read his lips.

- Balaji.

balaji - clock 00:06:42 - Thursday, 22.09.05 - Politics - 4381x - pencil permalink
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