We all missed something the other day in the Resident's year-end press conference. Stuffed in amongst the Social Security questions and the Donald Rumsfeld controversy, the Preznit said something very important in response to this question:
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. You talked earlier about the importance of spending discipline in the federal budget, but you went your entire first term without vetoing a single spending bill, even though you had a lot of tough talk on that issue in your first term. And I'm wondering, this time around, what are you going to do to convince Congress you really are serious about cutting federal spending? Will you veto spending bills this time?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah, here's -- here's -- here's what happened. I submitted a budget and Congress hit our number, which is a -- a tribute to Senator Hastert and -- I mean, Senator Frist and Speaker Hastert's leadership. In other words, we -- we worked together; we came up with a budget like we're doing now; we went through the process of asking our agencies can you live with this and if you don't like it, you know, counterpropose; and then we came up with a budget that we thought was necessary and we took it to the leadership and they accepted the budget and they passed bills that met our budget targets. So how can you veto an appropriations -- series of appropriations bills if the Congress has done what you've asked them to do?
Yep - there you have it. President Bush admitting that he was personally responsible for something bad. He's just fine with a 1/2 trillion dollar deficit and had no problems with the spending increases and pork that the Republican Congress passed in the past 4 years, despite all that "tough talk".