Everyone’s favorite game show contestant, Dana Perino (or Dana Peroxide, as Holden at First Draft has dubbed her) had quite herself the press briefing today. The subject at hand? The economy and how, despite the adminitration’s protestations to the contrary, it is inextricably bound to Bush’s Baghdad Boogaloo (aka Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s 100 Years War). Once again, Ms. Perino put her awesome command of the intricacies of the country’s economic condition on display and cudgeled the White House press corps into a stunned silence:
Q How does the President plan to pay for this war? There was apparently nothing in the budget that shows how we’re going to pay.
MS. PERINO: Well, there is a — there’s a $70 billion component to it. And we also have supplementals that are in front of Congress. So we’re waiting for those processes to work themselves through the system.
. . .
Q — $2 billion a week. How is it going to be paid for?
MS. PERINO: There’s no doubt that the war is an expensive — that war is very expensive. The President has set out in his 2009 proposal for $70 billion for the Pentagon to be able to continue operations. At the same time, we have supplemental requests out there.
. . .
Q It’s going to be paid for as we go along, or in the future?
MS. PERINO: Well, we have been able to pay for the war and to bring down the deficit, but we are going to see an uptick in the deficit as a result of the economic stimulus package that the President will sign into law on Wednesday. Because we think that we need that economic stimulus package as an insurance measure in order to prevent an economic downturn.
[Note: not one reporter followed up on this statement.]
There you have it, ladies and germans, in full-throated Orwellian Bushspeak: up is down, spend to save. Somehow, it’s now our fault that the deficit is growing. Not the $2 billion spent per week off the books, not Bush’s seven-year booze-and-hookers spending spree, but us. The people who will receive those $600 checks, endorse them, and hand them back to the credit card companies, the heating oil companies, the car companies, the mortgage companies, and the IRS. The people who are sucking the lifeblood from the country by utilizing government entitlements. We stopped spending, so now the government has to write us all checks and shove us out the door and into the malls. [Oh, and by the way, you senior citizens who are only getting a paltry $300 to cover your prescriptions: be grateful you’re getting anything, you Medicare leeches! The government would have turned you into Soylent Green already if it hadn’t tied up all its goddamned covert CIA flights for renditions.]
As the country slouches toward a recession (if it hasn’t already arrived there), Bush and his minions scramble for quick fixes to avoid being saddled with the responsibility for paying off their war addiction. The Warmonger in Chief and his crack "Financial Literacy Advisory Council" are playing kick the can down the road until it winds up in the next administration’s front yard, despite all of the experts who crunch the numbers and flatly state that a check for $600 per person is woefully insufficient to shore up the economy.
However, this administration will continue to clap their hands over their ears, yelling "lalalalala, I can’t heeeeeeear you!" even louder, because the economic warning signs are getting bigger and brighter. Maybe Dana Perino will demonstrate how to adjust our blinders at the next press briefing so we, too, can pretend that all is well.