Bush, the Big $pender
Remember these facts when Bu$h gives his State of the Union Address:
The $236 billion Clinton surplus of 2000 has become a $400 billion annual deficit. Setting aside Social Security, about a quarter of what the government has spent since Bush became President has been borrowed. And estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show that if his tax cuts are made permanent--as he is advocating--deficits will persist for at least 10 years. Even Bush's supporters criticize his lack of fiscal restraint. They look with dismay at figures showing that the federal workforce of about 2.7 million is roughly the same size it was at the beginning of President Bill
Clinton's second term. And they point out that Bush has not vetoed a single bill since taking office. "It's hard to veto something from a Congress dominated by your own party," says Murray Weidenbaum, who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ronald Reagan, "but Bush should have been tougher on the spending side. That's been a disappointment."