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Monday, January 14, 2008

Birmingham and the Great Bush Catastrophe

We recently posted about a little-known government official who made a report that shows with stark clarity the catastrophic nature of the George W. Bush administration.

The official's name is David M. Walker, who as U.S. comptroller general is the nation's top budget auditor and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). He came to our attention through a post by Scott Horton on his No Comment blog at Harper's.org.

It turns out that David Walker is a native of Birmingham, and he was in town recently to speak at the Birmingham Rotary Club. Walker evidently is not one to pull punches, and he did not pull any for his Alabama audience, which almost certainly included a goodly number of loyal Bushies.

In fact, at the Birmingham Rotary Club, I would say the audience was probably almost all loyal Bushies. Did they throw dinner rolls at Walker upon hearing his honest appraisal of Dubya's economic performance? Let's hope not.

The headline on the story--"GAO chief warns of financial disaster"--pretty much says it all.

"Within the next five years, if nothing is done, this country faces a serious economic catastrophe because it is addicted to debt," Walker said.

I have a feeling The Birmingham News put a conservative spin on Walker's presentation.

According to the News' account, Walker said the growing crisis is driven by growth of government spending, entitlement programs, and a lack of political will to solve the problem.

No mention of the effects of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans or the war in Iraq, policies supported by President George W. Bush. Notice the difference between the News' account and that of Scott Horton from an earlier Walker speech.

To its credit, the News did follow up today with a somewhat more well-rounded editorial on Walker's message. But the paper still goes out of its way to avoid mentioning any blame that Bush, or a Congress that was controlled by Republicans for most of his tenure, might deserve for his role in our fiscal crisis.

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