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The economy: Shades of crimson

The economy will come around. The problem is, Washington isn’t .

Treasury Secretary John Snow assures that “ample growth” and “disciplined spending” will slice in half the mounting U.S. deficit by the end of 2008. We wouldn’t pop any champagne corks yet.

“Ample growth” is within sight. “Disciplined spending,” however, is nowhere to be seen. Not for the Bush administration. And certainly not if a Democrat takes up where Bush’s spending leaves off.

Within three years Bush, the “compassionate conservative,” has evolved into Bush, the “compulsive spender.” During this period, total spending shot up nearly 14 percent. Discretionary spending is up nearly 20 percent.

Homeland security, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now Iraq’s reconstruction — each in itself an enormous commitment that the United States must honor — have contributed to a $400.5 billion deficit. But so, too, has the advancing socialism of U.S. government, and at an alarming rate.

Rather than gut the bureaucratic Education Department, Bush pumped into it the biggest expansion of federal spending in decades. He supports adding prescription drugs to Medicare, a new federal entitlement that will bankrupt our children.

He acquiesced to liberals by extending the child tax credit to those who don’t pay federal income taxes. And he backed a farm bill loaded with more pork than a pig farm.

The economy will come around. The problem is, Washington isn’t . Until the spendaholics from Bush down awake to this reality, crimson will be the shade of things to come.


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