Wednesday, February 11, 2004

On Meet the Press on Sunday, the President engaged in the following repartee with Tim Russert:

RUSSERT: But your base conservatives--listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation,
Cato Institute--they're all saying you're the biggest spender in American history.

BUSH: Well, they're wrong.

RUSSERT: Mr. President...

BUSH: If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined.

As Andrew Sullivan documents in this column, this statement is patently false. In fact, spending has skyrocketed under Bush; this is especially disheartening given that spending growth was under control in the Clinton administration.

What is ironic about all this is that its coming from the man who promised to restore integrity to the White House. Instead, we get a series of misleading statements about the U.S. fiscal situation -- not to mention the WMD flap.

If conservatives were outraged at Clinton for lying about his sex life, why aren't they outraged at Bush? Isn't lying about the budget -- and perhaps even about the reasons for going to war -- a tad bit worse than lying about the interns you frolic with?


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