"In later years I was often asked what great new idea my economic team and I brought to economic policy making.... I always gave a one-word answer: 'arithmetic'. The American people had been told for more than a decade that their government was a gluttonous leviathan swallowing their hard-earned dollars to no good end. Then the same politicians who told them that, and served up tax cuts to starve the evil beast, would turn right around and spend themselves to reelection, leaving the false impression that the voters could have programs they didn't pay for... that the only reason we had big deficits was wasteful spending on foreign aid, welfare, and other programs for poor people.... We had brought arithmetic back to the budget, and broken America of a bad habit... "Bush is so dishonest. Clinton left us with a massive surplus. We were set to eliminate not just the yearly deficit but the entire accumulated national debt in a decade or less. Now we are worse off than ever, and Bush takes absolutely no responsibility for any of it. And this from a politician and party that calls itself conservative. It's so frustrating -- and so dishonest.
I don't disagree that Bush is plain-spoken: he tells plain-spoken lies. The terrible thing is that half the country is still letting him get away with it. What I don't understand is why so many people continue to support him. Perhaps it's just that I'm out of touch. I don't get it at all.