Fiscal Denial

The Wall Street Journal’s blatant partisan blinders never stops driving me nuts amusing me. From today:

Politicians are typically late in picking up trends, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes Washington to acknowledge the big story in the Fiscal 2008 budget that President Bush unveiled yesterday: To wit, with a little spending restraint, Congress could balance the budget in no time.

Or President Bush could stop signing the spending increases. I’ve read that it can work as a constitutionally-provided strategy.

The news Mr. [Kent] Conrad won’t broadcast is that over the past three years the federal deficit has shrunk by 58%. The Congressional Budget Office–not the White House–is estimating that the current year’s deficit (for fiscal 2007) will fall to $172 billion. That’s not bad given continuing Katrina relief spending, $30 billion for homeland security, and a couple hundred billion or so to fight the war on terror.

Only a partisan would offer the White House credit for (not really) proposing to (partially) clean up a mess it created. But the best bit arrives in the conclusion:

The best news in yesterday’s budget may be that Mr. Bush seems to be rediscovering some fiscal nerve. His proposals won’t raise taxes, while using the power of the market to combat problems in health care, and putting a tight leash on domestic discretionary programs. Defense gets the bulk of spending increases, as it should in a time of war. Maybe we’ll finally get a debate over national spending priorities.

A tight leash on discretionary spending? Not so much, when analyzing the numbers honestly. Holding on tightly when the leash is fully extended is not what the Journal’s editors are saying, but it’s much closer to the truth. And about that war… America has expressed how it feels about the war and the current “extra more of the same” strategy. It’s logical to infer that it wants to fund that with a budget increase? How?