Monday, April 25, 2005

Bushisms #3 and #4

by Tom Bozzo

The new Bushisms: mangling reality required, mangling the language optional. Both of today's are from the 4/23 radio address.

Bushism #3:
As Iraqis assume increasing responsibility for the stability of their country, Iraqi security forces are becoming more self-reliant and taking on greater responsibilities. Today, more than 150,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained and equipped, and for the first time, the Iraqi army, police, and security forces outnumber U.S. forces in Iraq.
Grim reality:
Meanwhile, officials describe setbacks in the security situation in the Sunni Muslim city of Husaybah on the Syrian border, near the area where fighters tied to al Qaeda had staged the second of two well-planned attacks on a U.S. military installation this month. An Iraqi army unit that had once grown to 400 members has dwindled to a few dozen guardsmen "holed up'' inside a phosphate plant outside of Husaybah for their protection, a Marine commander said.

Maj. John Reed, executive officer for the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, which has a company in Husaybah, said the Iraqi guardsmen retreated to the phosphate plant compound with their families after insurgents attacked and killed scores of people in recent months.

"They will claim that they've got hundreds ready to come back and fight," said Reed, whose company seldom patrols inside Husaybah. "Well, there are no more than 30 of them on duty on any given day, and they are completely ineffective...

In city after city and town after town, security forces who had signed up to secure Iraq and replace U.S. forces appear to have abandoned posts or taken refuge inside them for fear of attacks.

Washington Post, "Insurgent Violence Escalates in Iraq," 4/24/05. See also "Iraqi forces desert posts as insurgent attacks are stepped up," Daily Telegraph.


Bushism #4:
Sustaining America's prosperity requires restraining the spending appetite of the federal government. That's why the 2006 budget I submitted to Congress holds the growth of discretionary spending to 2.1 percent -- below the projected rate of inflation...

The principle is simple: Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not spent at all.
Grim reality:
Despite their brave talk about the need to control the red ink, President George W. Bush and Congress are marching in the opposite direction. At Bush's urging, lawmakers are about to approve an additional $80 billion to fund the war in Iraq for 2005. The House has voted to repeal permanently the estate tax -- at a staggering 10-year cost of nearly $1 trillion. Congress is abandoning a White House request to trim farm subsidies, and lawmakers are balking at modest cuts in Medicaid...

Even GOP strategists concede that deficit reduction will go nowhere unless tax hikes are in the mix. Trying to eliminate deficits on the spending side alone is "completely insane," says Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former House GOP aide.

"Washington's Deficit Plan: Nada", BusinessWeek online, 4/25/05.

Feel free to nominate unwise Bush administration pet expenditures in comments. My nominations: the Iraq war (remember Larry Lindsey getting canned for among other things suggesting that the war could cost $100B-$200B? "Fact-checkers" tut-tutting Kerry over the claim that the war would cost $200B? Those were the days!), ballistic missile defense, the new human space exploration "vision."
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