By Thomas Oliphant
Boston Globe Columnist | February 8, 2005
NO WONDER Dick Cheney swears he will never run for president. Even a quick peek at the astonishingly dishonest federal budget the administration released yesterday shows that President Bush and his veep plan on leaving ticking time bombs behind when they get out of town four years hence. By general agreement, the government's finances are lacking in elementary credibility. That's now. What is less well understood is how much of Bush's budgetary buffoonery is meant to become apparent after his successor is in office.
The first clue to the truth lies in a measure of the federal deficit this crowd adores obscuring but is forced by law to disclose. It's found only in a large table buried in the budget documents and estimates the government's operating red ink -- the amount by which spending exceeds revenue from income taxes and other fees. Last year it was far above the deficit figure that that typically makes its way into headlines -- $567 billion, compared with the "official" figure of $412 billion.....