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If It's by Bush, It's Got To Be Good

Reported by Ellen - February 9, 2005

While Bush's budget is being criticized by Democrats and rank-and-file Republicans, at FOX News, Bush is a visionary.

According to FOXNews.com, Bush was in Detroit yesterday, "laying out his vision for a slimmed-down federal government."

Without any sense of irony, FOX showcased this quote from the president:

(Bush) said Congress must bring discipline to the federal budget and cut failing or unnecessary programs even if they have laudable goals. "It is essential that those who spend the money in Washington adhere to this principle — a taxpayer dollar ought to be spent wisely or not spent at all," Bush said.

Comment: A taxpayer dollar ought to be spent wisely or not spent at all? Then I guess it's time to bring the troops home from Iraq because I can't think of anything that's been more poorly managed than a war started for reasons that have been proven false, that was supposed to be a "cakewalk" that was going to pay for itself but which has now turned into a quagmire costing untold billions.

But FOX is clearly blind to that point. Instead, the article continues, "'Congress needs to join with me to bring real spending discipline to the federal budget,' Bush said to applause from automotive executives and other Michigan business leaders jammed wall-to-wall at tables in a large room at Cobo Hall. 'Spending discipline requires difficult choices.'"

Comment: Apparently it's hard work putting the axe to programs like heating oil assistance for the poor, student loans, grants to communities for police officers and veterans' medical services. It's funny how FOX didn't mention any of those programs. The only ones it specified being cut are farm subsidies and a reading program for the poor that Bush said "three evaluations have made it clear" is not working. I wonder how the student loans "don't work."

FOX has the nerve to call Bush's budget "slimmed-down" and "just one of the conservative fiscal policies he plans to push in his second term."

Slimmed-down, conservative budget? According to Associated Press, a news service FOX News uses heavily on its website and which is one of the contributors to this very FOXNews.com article, Bush's tax cuts and spending increases for defense and homeland security add to the deficit by $42 billion over the next five years. What's slimmed-down and conservative about that? Nothing. But FOX doesn't even bother to mention the widening deficit caused by Bush's budget in its blind adoration of all things Bush.

FOX News may be alone in its admiration. According to the Washington Post,

Many analysts doubt that Congress will fully embrace the president's recommendations, and the greetings from Wall Street economists yesterday were not encouraging.

"Clearly their deficit numbers are not credible -- haven't been for the last few years and they shouldn't be looked at with much seriousness now," said David Greenlaw, an economist and fiscal policy expert at Morgan Stanley.

Edward McKelvey, an economist at Goldman Sachs, noted that all presidential budgets ask a lot from Congress. But by resolutely standing by his tax cuts, Bush has put an unrealistic onus on Congress to focus narrowly on finding spending cuts, he said, concluding, "I don't think it's politically realistic."

Some key Republicans are also less than thrilled with the budget. The Washington Post also reports that

Sen. Thad Cochran, chairman of the Appropriations Committee and an influential member of the agriculture committee, declared he would never go along with the president's agriculture proposals, which he said unfairly target cotton and rice growers in the Southeast. Congress passed the last major revision of the federal farm support system in 2002, after considerable contentious debate. Lawmakers are not about to reopen the issue before they have to, Cochran said. "Frankly, I don't think anyone in the administration really thought Congress would go along with this," he said.

But somehow "Real Journalism" FOX News missed that criticism. All the criticism it reported came from Democrats and labor unions (two peas in an obstructionist pod more often than not on FOX) who "accuse," "complain" and "oppose" Bush's "ideas."

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