Here’s an almost unexpected article from National Review Online. They are exposing the ballooning costs of the Medicare prescription-drug benefit that was originally slated at $395 billion for ten years and exploded to over $534 billion after the facts came out. In the article — Cover-Up Costs — Deroy Murdock contends that “The Bush administration may have broken the law on Medicare”:
Had market-oriented congressmen, policy analysts, and pundits seen this sum, this entire project would have died more suddenly than HillaryCare. So, the Bush administration got busy suppressing these numbers.
According to Foster, when members of Congress and their staffers requested his drug-benefit cost estimates, Scully threatened to sack him if he complied.
“I’m not surprised,” Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas (R., Calif.) said. “I knew this would cost more.”
In a February 3 letter, top House Democrats told Secretary Thompson, “While we have no knowledge of what you communicated to Republican staff, we can say categorically that this information was not communicated to us or our staff.”
This shifty and dishonest behavior now also looks criminal.
An April 26 Congressional Research Service memorandum determined that the Bush Administration’s cover-up of Foster’s estimates may have violated at least five federal laws:
This is a hard-line conservative site calling for a criminal investigation into the Bush administration over something as mundane as a fiscal over-run, but it shows that Bush is increasingly out of touch with the values of Republicans. The old mantra of fiscal conservative/social conservative is being torn apart on both sides as more investigative journalists come to realize that the true focus is fiscal irresponsibility (A.K.A. liberal) and social conservative (in show only, and only for the voter bloc of the religious right).
Will the Republicans be able to reel Bush’s policy flubs in before November? Will the left realize that Kerry is moving closer to advocating the same path?
Cover-Up Costs [NRO]