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State of the Union, budget show Bush's affinity for horrid ideas
In State of the Union Address and his new budget, President Bush is kind enough to sum up all of his terrible notions.

RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 2/20/2005

By RICHARD AMRHINE

IF I WERE looking to provide readers with a cure for insomnia, writing about the federal budget would usually be a good choice. But the budget President Bush presented recently is anything but a snoozer. It has people on both sides of the partisan fence wide-eyed and loaded for bear.

With his State of the Union address and his proposed fiscal 2006 budget, the president has taken two great strides toward helping Americans realize they ought to be more careful about whom they elect. Take note of his approval rating, which is down to 45 percent, according to an Associated Press poll.

Most people agree that Mr. Bush, emboldened by his 51-percent-of-the-vote "mandate," is not one to shy away from a fight, or to take what might be unpopular stands. What he is in the midst of proving, thanks to his arrogant, Bush-knows-best personality, is that there is no fine line between heroism and stupidity. He is leaving no doubt as to which side of the line his legacy will fall on.

I really had no desire to watch the State of the Union address. As my mother used to caution me about crossing my eyes, I was afraid my face might freeze with the contorted wince that happens I get whenever I see him speak on television. But he kept showing up as I switched channels, so I gave in.

What I gleaned from the sound bites between the 80 rounds of gratuitous applause is that all the nations of the globe should become the United States of Earth, and that all its peoples will be free in the American mold. I guess that means we'll need to bomb the heck out of their countries first.

Sounds like a plan--as well as evidence of the brilliance behind the 22nd Amendment. That's the one that limits a president to two terms.

After the State of the Union lets the president rattle off what he wants to do, he presents a budget that shows how he plans to do it.

Certainly reconciling a federal budget is a bit more complicated than balancing a checkbook, but President Bush is offering a budget that takes America where it hasn't been before, and shouldn't ever go: to fiscal Neverland, where huge expenditures can be wished away in a fantasy spending plan.


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