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The Democratic agenda


The Washington Times looks at the quandary facing Democrats as they contemplate how to deal with Bush's budget without proposing tax increases themselves.  "Democrats said Mr. Bush makes wrong assumptions on future tax revenue, such as the Alternative Minimum Tax, but admitted they will probably make the same choices when they pass their own budget so they can also show a balance by 2012, and so they can compare 'apples to apples' with Mr. Bush.  Democrats also will have to decide whether to show continued costs for the war past 2008... and whether to plan on having Mr. Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire in later years, which would help government revenue but would put them on a collision course with the president." 

House Democrats are offering hints of their longer-term domestic agenda, which they plan to roll out next week. 

Fed chief Ben Bernanke warns that Democrats' protectionist reaction to increasing globalization, in an effort to sympathize with "middle-class economic angst," is the wrong way to address the growing income gap.  Bernanke says "trends in technology were more important in widening the income divide," per the Financial Times

Rep. John Murtha (D) is applying his influence with the Pentagon to help Speaker Nancy Pelosi get the big jet which her office says she needs, and which the Administration has agreed to supply, so that she may fly cross-country non-stop.  But the deal is rankling Administration aides and congressional staffers and odd accusations are popping up.  For instance, Murtha's office is having to deny that he ever suggested there was sexism involved in the Administration not immediately fulfilling Pelosi's request.