Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Debt
Josh Marshall points out that Bush is scheduled to go "visit his legacy" while on his tour to convince the American people to phase out Social Security. The President will make a symbolic trip--intended to bolster his case--to the Bureau of Public Debt. I had no idea, but it's an actual place, presumably with files and files of various IOU's. For some reason, it's in West Virginia.

If you want to see something scary, check out the Public Debt Bureau's "Debt to the Penny" page. Updated every week day. The good news? Somehow between March 30 and March 31, we cut 10 billion off of the national debt! The bad news? Between March 1 and March 30, we added 85 billion.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Treasury Secretary John Snow has a funny notion of "making progress" on the Administration's phase-out attempts. Every Democratic Senator but one (Nebraska's Nelson, who says only that he remains open) continues to be united and determined against any plan that would divert payroll taxes into private accounts. Hastert says he doesn't see any legislation passing this year. And if it doesn't happen this year, I don't think it will happen. Presuming it doesn't, Bush will have fallen flat on his face (sans pretzel) in his primary domestic initiative.

Initiative #2? Overhaul of the tax code. That sounds more like the kind of fight they will reserve for an election year (06). We'll see if Republicans learn anything from this failure. More important, we'll see if Democrats learn anything from this victory.

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