Kerry-Edwards Fiscal Policy

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 17, 2004 | Go to article overview

Kerry-Edwards Fiscal Policy


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign recently issued a broad outline of its budget policy, but the Kerry-Edwards arithmetic hasn't improved on John Kerry's numbers during the primary campaign. The first sign that they are winging it came from their assertion that they would save $300 billion over 10 years by "eliminat[ing] unnecessary corporate welfare."

Are we to assume that John Kerry and John Edwards intend to maintain current levels of "necessary corporate welfare"? It is not that we doubt there is $30 billion per year of corporate welfare tucked away in tax loopholes and subsidies. And we share their belief that giving Sen. John McCain an ax to hack away at corporate welfare would be a good start. But wasn't Mr. McCain the one presidential candidate in memory who had the nerve to tell Iowans that the ethanol scam was a classic example of corporate welfare? And didn't Messrs. Kerry and Edwards embrace the ethanol rip-off in search of Iowa caucus votes? So, where's the testosterone?

Meanwhile, when Mr. Kerry unveiled his health-care plan in May 2003, it carried a 10-year price tag of $890 billion, according to an analysis by health-care economist Ken Thorpe. The latest price tag is a mere $653 billion. That was an amazing achievement, considering that the campaign also conveniently folded in 90 percent of its $300 billion proposal for mandatory veterans health care.

The Kerry-Edwards plan calls for adding 40,000 troops to the armed forces, but the net cost apparently will be zero because the troops will be paid for by "streamlining various large weapons programs," adopting a " 'systems of systems' approach to transformation, reducing total expenditures on missile defense and further reforming the acquisition process. …

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