From The Washington Post Debate Referee feature (italics added by me):

Malpractice reformer?

Congressional Budget Office found that legislation capping damage awards at $250,000 would lower physician malpractice premiums by 25 percent to 30 percent. But that reduction "would lower health care costs by only about .4 percent to .5 percent, and the likely effect on health insurance premiums would be comparably small," the CBO said.

Big Spender?

But an analysis by Washington Post White House correspondent Mike Allen found that the cost of Bush's new tax breaks and spending he outlined at the Republican convention far eclipsed that of the Kerry plan. Allen wrote: "Bush's pledge to make permanent his tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of 2010 or before, would reduce government revenue by about $1 trillion over 10 years, according to administration estimates. His proposed changes in Social Security to allow younger workers to invest part of their payroll taxes in stocks and bonds could cost the government $2 trillion over the coming decade, according to the calculations of independent domestic policy experts. "And Bush's agenda has many costs the administration has not publicly estimated. For instance, Bush said in his speech that he would continue to try to stabilize Iraq and wage war on terrorism. The war in Iraq alone costs $4 billion a month, but the president's annual budget does not reflect that cost."

Small Businessman?

Under Bush's definition, a small business is any taxpayer who reports some income from investments, partnerships or trusts. By that definition, every partner at a huge accounting firm or at the largest law firm would represent a small business.

Okay, I'll tell you what: vote Republican, go ahead. But at least vote for a competent one.

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