New York Daily News Online | News and Views | Opinion | Editorials: George Bush’s Fuzzy Math The reason is that the Congressional Budget Office has lowered its forecast for the nation’s surplus to $160 billion from $275 billion. The drop was caused by lower tax revenues, extra spending by Congress and the mass mailing of $38 billion in tax rebates.

Because of the misguided tax cut, the Treasury Department announced two weeks ago that it will have to borrow to assure there is enough for the rebates. So instead of paring $57 billion from the national debt, as promised for the quarter, Treasury must borrow $51 billion. That’s a $108 billion swing from black ink to red.

Borrowing to distribute political bequests to the citizenry is not smart policy no matter how you spin it.

Ronald Reagan left the country with a crushing debt burden after he handed out tax cuts to the wealthy. That helped lead the U.S. into a recession. In this respect, the Republican borrow-and-spend approach is no better than the tax-and-spend policies for which Democrats are rightly condemned.

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