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MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- President Bush's proposed $2.9 trillion federal budget, unveiled Monday, calls for health care spending cuts, including a major five-year reduction in Medicare expenditures to slow the program's annual growth rate from 6.5 percent to 5.6 percent.

It's not often you see a sentence in an article refute itself. No, there is no reduction in Medicare expenditures. There is a reduction of planned expenditures. But the actual expenditures are actually increasing.

Yes, you've heard this before. Some may think my bringing it up is tiresome. I say the media continuing to get it wrong is tiresome. NewsHour got it right tonight: Judy Woodruff called it "$91 billion worth of cuts in spending growth" and, whenever she mentioned the cuts, said they were cuts "from the growth." Frankly, I find the formulation about odd: I usually say cuts from projected spending, as a what exactly a "cut from growth" is, is not immediately clear; though it has the benefit of being more succinct.

Anyway, I love this budget because Senator Kent Conrad was criticizing it, so I know it must be good.

Well, OK, I'm being facetious. Conrad is right, actually: we need to balance the budget. Unfortunately, Conrad wants to do it by increasing taxes, which would be a cure worse than the disease. The fact is -- at least, as far as I am concerned, it's a fact, and I doubt anyone reading this will disagree with me -- the Republicans and the Democrats are screwing us by not cutting a lot of unnecessary spending out of the budget. Nothing new here.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on February 5, 2007 7:59 PM.

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