Dean the fiscal conservative

[via The American Mind]

Continuing the pile-on of Dean today, I noticed that Steve Verdon had run a quick analysis on Herr Doktor's myriad "moderate" social program & spending proposals, and comes to the conclusion that the numbers just don't add up:

I noticed that Dean engaged in quite a bit of spending, but at the same time Dean talks about rolling back Bush's tax cuts. So, lets play pretend and assume that Dean becomes President in 2005. Now, how big is the projected deficit? Well we could use the Democratic Caucus' House Budget Committee's numbers of $304 billion dollars. The Citizens for Tax Justice say $678 Billion, and the Congressional Budget Office, says $341 billion. What the heck lets go with the average of $441 billion. Now, on top of this assumption how about we also assume that all of this is due to Bush's tax cuts. That is repealing Bush's tax cuts will get rid of all of the red ink.1

So, what would Dean do with this extra $441 billion dollars? Spend a big chunk of it. Don't believe me? Well would you believe Gov. Dean?

$100 Billion: Restore America Fund
$11 Billion: Invest for Success
$88.3 Billion: Dean's Health Care Plan
$1.25 Billion: Quadrupling Americorp
$1 Billion: College Commitment
$8.5 Billion: Increase for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The grand total for all these programs is $210.05 billion in just 2005 alone. So that means there would still be a $210.05 billion dollar deficit when Dean is President. Further, this is a low-ball estimate because lots of Dean's proposals have no costs provided.

All of this from the supposed "fiscal conservative" from Vermont who knows how to balance budgets, live within means, etc. Hogwash!

Bush is a borrow-and-spend Corporatist statist. Dean is a tax-and-spend socialist. Bush is bad, yes, but I cannot see how to take more of our money and then spend some more on top of that is somehow a better solution. Seriously, when you look at the fine print for Dr. Dean, he's immediately spending the extra revenue from hiking taxes that supposedly would balance the budget while trying to maintain his pose of fiscal responsibility. Hiking taxes AND keeping a deficit is nonsense even to a Keynesian!

I don't want to get too down on libertarians for Dean; I have no doubt that the vast majority of them are sincere, but I also sincerely believe that Dean is absolutely incompatible with even a generous reading of libertarian principles. Hence my posts have been (and will continue to be) in the spirit of showing my wayward brethren the light...

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I don't want to get too down

I don't want to get too down on libertarians for Dean; I have no doubt that the vast majority of them are sincere, but I also sincerely believe that Dean is absolutely incompatible with even a generous reading of libertarian principles.

Not if he can't do anything. It might be better for libertarians to give Repubs someone to hate, and let them believe that the guy in the White House is actually different from them, and not just another socialist like Bush.

Johnathan, Sadly, there's a


Sadly, there's a lot he could do, even with a hostile Congress.

He could make executive orders to re-regulate industry without even consulting Congress.

For example:

Also, affirmative action was created by a set of executive orders from the Johnson and Nixon administrations.

Couldn't Congress just

Couldn't Congress just withhold funding for any Dean programs it doesn't approve of in retaliation? Congress has just as much power available for creative manipulation as the executive does.

Jason, No, they couldn't.


No, they couldn't. And they might even have a lot of trouble making an outright repeal of the executive order stick because of the concept of judicial precedent.

An example: Affirmative action isn't a "program" per se, it's a policy. Congress couldn't stop affirmative action in the way you mention without shutting down the EEOC and half of the rest of the Justice Department.

Maxinquaye, Perhaps I didn't


Perhaps I didn't word my question properly. I was referring more to other programs that Congress does have a say over - Gov. Dean's proposed programs. Programs like the health insurance and guaranteed student loans for everyone are very unlikely to be enacted by executive order. I was thinking of Congress blocking programs like these in retaliation for anything enacted by executive order that they find particularly egregious. Dean has something of a reputation as a compromiser - I think that if Congress pressed him it could influence his decisions. Certainly not on every issue, but on enough to rein him in from the more extreme directions he might take.

Jason, No, the President has


No, the President has the bully pulpit. Dean is clearly running as a hard-left candidate, and I have no reason to think he would govern differently.

But... why trap yourself by voting for a bad candidate?

If you are a libertarian, then you should vote for a candidate with a clear, uncompromised libertarian vision and platform. It's not a difficult logical exercise to show that this is the action that best advances the long-term interests of libertarians.

Anything else is a death wish for libertarians. The libertarian situation (and that of all minority ideology adherents) is equivalent to the classic problem of the Prisoner's Dilemma.

However, if Dean more closely represents your views than any other candidate, then vote for him.

I want to make it clear to

I want to make it clear to you that this is what LFD is about:

"Dean's vision needs to be pound for pound compared to George W. before a true judgement can be made of whether there could be a libertarian interest in voting for him. This site is not yet an endorsement, and through the course of the analyzing Dean, we may find him to be unfit for our vote. Only time will tell."

I ask that you understand we are not blind supporters of Dean. Read the site, I have strongly questioned Dean's positions on a number of things, and many of us are beginning to get a bit more weary.

I appreciate your analyzation of why Dean may not be better than Bush, as the other side of the argument must be considered if we are to have a meaningful discussion. Just don't make assumptions on what some of us are thinking on the other side of the argument. Keep in mind, too, that there is more than one voice at LFD, and that some may be a bit more tolerant of certain things than others.

Also, you keep pounding out economic figures, which we have already conceded that Bush may, in fact, be a lesser evil in that area. Don't forget to consider civil liberties, foreign policy, etc. because the libertarian philosophy represents more than economic theory.

Also notice that the issues

Also notice that the issues you brought up in your posts lately have been posted on the LFD site. That should hint to you that we are not putting our heads in the sand, nor have we been from the beginning.