All the Spin That’s Fit to Print

Check out this “reporting” in today’s New York Times article on our record deficit for next year:

The biggest fiscal problem confronting Mr. Bush is that more than 80 percent of the $2.3 trillion federal budget is currently off-limits for cutting.

This isn’t reporting; this is the spin pushed by right-wing ideologues like Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Jim Nussel (R-IA), who are trying to use the administration’s reckless fiscal policies as an excuse to cut Social Security and Medicaid benefits. In reality, Bush’s biggest problem regarding the deficit is that he is unwilling to give up his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. As the NYT’s own chart illustrates, even assuming continued war spending, the government will begin to run a small surplus in six to seven years if we let go of the tax cuts. But with the tax cuts, the budget will be deep in red ink indefinitely.