The Wall Street Journal seems to think that the President has proposed an okay budget.
A useful rule in Washington is that the quality of a President’s budget should be judged in inverse proportion to the amount of screaming about it. By that measure the $2.4 trillion Fiscal Year 2005 budget that President Bush proposed yesterday is the best of his tenure. Not that this is a very high bar.
For the first time in his Presidency–and the first time in Washington since 1995–Mr. Bush is requesting that domestic, non-defense spending be restrained. This is only a proposal, and we won’t know if the President means it until he shows he’s willing to veto something. But the request does suggest that grassroots Republican anger at runaway spending is finally getting noticed at the White House.
The problem of course is determining whether the President is sincere. The highway bill is up and the President hasn’t said he’ll veto it. The bill would raise gas taxes.