Wednesday, August 24, 2005

In Case You Didn't Notice:
Tom Delay Edition

Never one to walk away from a fight, former Yellow Hammer Award holder Tom DeLay put forth a mighty effort to reclaim the coveted award.  
Textile workers in the Mariana Islands work 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Belonging to the U.S., legislation was drafted to bring workers under the minimum wage law. Although much support exists for legislation, Republican Leader Tom Delay flew to the islands, met with industry leaders and allegedly received $300,000 to stop the legislation. Delay earns his money by keeping legislation in committee.
Not content merely grinding the poor and underprivileged under his boot heel, he followed up with blatant hypocrisy.  He boasted about the White House's recent budget projections (unaware that Brad DeLong was lying in wait with a blistering refutation).  DeLay was quoted in the Houston Chronicle:
"The falling deficit projections should come as no surprise to anyone aware of Republican fiscal policies," House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, said. "Lower taxes and spending discipline spur economic growth, which in turn cuts the deficit."
But if pending discipline spurs economic growth, then why does he boast, on his own website...
Washington, Jul 29 - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) today announced significant transportation funding increases for Texas, bringing highway funding levels to the highest in state history.
Why? I guess spending discipline is appropriate only for textile workers, not DeLay's own constituents.

What was Dr. DeLong's objection to Mr. DeLay's claim about the effects of tax cuts?  He quoted Gregory Mankiw, the former chairman of Mr Bush's Council of Economic Advisers:
Left out of these calculations is any guide to what happens when taxes are cut but spending is not. The budget deficits that ensue will tend to "crowd out" investment, slowing growth. The CBO calculates that every extra dollar of federal borrowing reduces investment in the economy by 36 cents.

The White House['s]... latest forecast... assumes (absurdly) that Congress will not add a single dollar to its discretionary spending on anything except defence and homeland security from 2006 to 2010. It also leaves out of its projections any extra money for Iraq, Afghanistan or the war on terror...
The material above originally appeared in The Economist, a publication which, you may recall, endorsed John Kerry in the last US Presidential election.