Language of Bush’s FY 2005 Budget Hides ‘Flimflam’ of Tax Credit Proposal
The "bland language" in the fiscal year 2005 budget proposal released last week by President Bush related to a proposal that would provide refundable tax credits to help uninsured U.S. residents purchase health coverage "conceals the flimflam" of his "dubious solution" to the "medical crisis" in the United States, columnist E.J. Dionne writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. The tax credit proposal would cost $65 billion between 2005 and 2014, and the budget on page 43 claims to include "contingent offsets that would cover the estimated increases in mandatory spending that would result from this proposal," Dionne writes. However, he writes, rather than include specific reductions to cover the cost of the tax credit proposal, the budget states that "the administration will work with Congress to offset this additional spending." In addition, Dionne writes that page 374 of the budget includes a minus $65 million for a "contingent offset for refundable portion of the health care tax credit," adding, "Whoosh! Throw in that minus sign and the cost disappears, without a single hard choice being made." Dionne concludes, "Either Bush wants to cut stuff he doesn't want to own up to, or he doesn't care about his promise to cut the deficit, or he doesn't care" about the tax credit proposal (Dionne, Washington Post, 2/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.