The Republican spending orgy


PDA






FRIZ
July 20, 2003, 10:09 AM
This story ran on page D11 of the Boston Globe on 7/20/2003.

The Republican spending orgy
By Jeff Jacoby

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/201/oped/The_Republican_spending_orgy+.shtml

AT THEIR national convention three years ago, Republicans pointed with pride
to the GOP's record of fiscal rectitude.

''In the four decades from 1954 to 1994,'' the Republican platform declared,
''government spending increased at an average annual rate of 7.9 percent,
and the public's debt increased from $224 billion to $3.4 trillion.'' Those
were the profligate years, when Democrats usually controlled both houses of
Congress.

''Since 1994,'' it went on, ''with Republicans leading the House and Senate,
spending has been held to an annual 3.1 percent rate of growth, and the
nation's debt will be nearly $400 billion lower by the end of this year. The
federal government has operated in the black for the last two years and is
now projected to run a surplus of nearly $5 trillion over ten years.''

Missing from the Republicans' recitation was any mention of the Democrat who
had been in the White House since 1993. Didn't President Clinton deserve any
of the credit for the spending restraint and budget surpluses?

Not according to Republicans, he didn't. In their view, they were the ones
who slowed the federal spending train and forced Clinton to curb his
big-government impulses. If he had had a Democratic Congress to do his
bidding, that train would have raced out of control.

So here we are three years later, with not only a Republican Congress but a
Republican president, too - and the federal spending train is racing out of
control. The Bush administration estimated last week that the government
will end the current fiscal year with a budget deficit of $455 billion. Over
the next five years, the public debt is expected to rise by $1.9 trillion.
The administration projects next year's federal outlays at $2.27 trillion,
more than $400 billion higher than when the president took office.

As any Republican will be glad to tell you, the GOP is the party of fiscal
discipline. Unlike the wastrels of the Democratic Party, Republicans know
that all government money is really taxpayers' money, and they take great
pains to spend that money frugally.

Sure they do. That's why Republican George W. Bush, backed by a Republican
Congress, is on track to become the biggest-spending president since LBJ.

In the first three years of the Bush administration, government spending has
climbed - in real, inflation-adjusted terms - by a staggering 15.6 percent.
That far outstrips the budget growth in Clinton's first three years, when
real spending climbed just 3.5 percent. Under the first President Bush, the
comparable figure was 8.3 percent; under Ronald Reagan, 6.8 percent, and
under Jimmy Carter, 13.3 percent. No, that's not a mistake: Bush is a bigger
spender than Carter was.

To be sure, Bush's budgets have had to account for Sept. 11 and the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan. But even when defense spending is excluded,
discretionary spending has soared by nearly 21 percent in Bush's first three
years. In Clinton's first triennium, nondefense discretionary spending
declined slightly. If their budgets were all you had to go by, you might peg
Bush for the Democrat and Clinton for the Republican.

The budget cycle Bush inherited in 2001 closed with a surplus of $127
billion. The deficits that now stretch as far as the eye can see are the
result of reckless budget-busting that would have Republicans shrieking if
Al Gore were president. To see this kind of promiscuous budgeting come out
of a Republican administration should outrage them even more.

PREDICTABLY, LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS ARE LOUDLY BLAMING THE BUSH DEFICITS ON
THE BUSH TAX CUTS. BUT TAX RELIEF ISN'T LEAKING RED INK ALL OVER THE BUDGET;
SPENDING IS. IN 2008, WHEN MOST OF THE TAX CUTS SIGNED BY BUSH WILL BE FULLY
PHASED IN, THEY WILL REDUCE FEDERAL REVENUES BY $177 BILLION. IN THE SAME
YEAR, TOTAL FEDERAL SPENDING WILL BE $494 BILLION HIGHER THAN IT IS TODAY.
BY THE END OF THE FIVE-YEAR BUDGET PLAN, IN OTHER WORDS, SPENDING INCREASES
WILL OUTWEIGH TAX CUTS BY NEARLY 3 TO 1.

From the pork-laden homeland security bill to last year's bloated farm bill,
Washington's orgy of spending is bringing on the biggest deficits in
American history. The gigantic prescription-drug entitlement making its way
through the Capitol will force the budget even further into the red and the
nation even deeper into debt. Americans count on Republicans to enforce, or
at least invoke, the First Law of Holes: When in one, stop digging. But
Republicans rule both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and the digging is more
furious than ever. How will the GOP explain that at its next convention?

Jeff Jacoby's e-mail address is jacoby@globe.com.

If you enjoyed reading about "The Republican spending orgy" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Waitone
July 20, 2003, 12:31 PM
What is so hard to understand?

Someone please tell me what republicans stand for?

What is their identifiable belief system?

Is there any principal for which the republicans are willing to fight without compromise?

I can't identify anything. Opps, me bad! I identified one principal. Taxation and spending is power. There you have it. Republicans are the principaled party.:barf:

SkunkApe
July 20, 2003, 12:54 PM
This is the type of thing that soured me on the Republicans.

We've got a Republican president and Congress, and the highest level of spending in history. Some fiscal responsibility.

The president passed a tariff on foreign steel imports. Some free-trader.

The president has expressed his willingness to sign the AWB renewal. Some gun rights defender.

The president used any story he could get to sell the Iraq invasion to the American people, regardless of its basis in fact, the tries to blame the CIA and the British when he gets caught. Some integrity.

If Clinton did these things, you'd all be raging mad. Tell me again why Republicans are better?

Enough is enough. Vote Libertarian.

PileDriver
July 20, 2003, 01:05 PM
bush is the biggest liberal to inhabit the whitehouse in years. to me both demonrats and repuberals are one in the same....both worthless

Glock Glockler
July 20, 2003, 01:08 PM
Waitone hit the nail on the head. There is no solid and consistent philosophy upon which the Republicans base their system on, so why should we be upset when they give us Big Govt?

Bruce H
July 20, 2003, 01:19 PM
There are actually very few republicans and deomcrats. There are a lot who claim to be one or the other. What they do is trade places every so often to keep people thinking they are doing something other than raiding the treasury to by votes for themselves. When this round of government falls apart maybe we can form one that works better.

Marko Kloos
July 20, 2003, 02:03 PM
Enough is enough. Vote Libertarian.

I'm sure someone will be around shortly to tell you that you're "wasting your vote" if you vote Libertarian. Or worse yet, that you're "helping the Democrats" by not voting for a Republican.

PileDriver
July 20, 2003, 03:12 PM
a vote is never wasted. what's wasted is continually voting for the "lesser of two evils"

Waitone
July 20, 2003, 03:51 PM
Governance, the issue is governance.

Just as soon as L(l)ibertarians demonstrate an ability, or even pointed in the direction of demonstrating an ability, to govern; they will have my vote.

Right now the L(l)ibertarians have a time convincing me they would know what to do with power if it were handed to them.

For me the issue boils down to the following dilemma:

#!--Do vote for representatives of a political organization that demonstrates no discernable belief system yet has the elements of governance down pat,

or

#2--Do I vote for representatives of a political ideology which has not demonstrated the elements of governance yet does have an intellectually satisfying ideology.

Since I don't do anarchy real well, I'll go with #1 for the time being.

SkunkApe
July 20, 2003, 04:11 PM
Waitone,

I find it most unlikely (as much as I'd like to see it) that the Libertarians could ever simultaneously take over the White House, the House, and the Senate.

Lets get them in one at a time, and give them a chance to learn "goverance".

PileDriver
July 20, 2003, 04:25 PM
there are libertarians in office all over the country. since they are the only party advocating adhering to the constitution, i say give them a chance.

what we have now is:

repuberals walking towards socialism
demonrats running towards socialism

how much worse can a party advocating for the constitution be? neither of the parties in power do anything but pay lip service to it.

bountyhunter
July 20, 2003, 04:44 PM
I used to not understand, then I went to college and studied Reaganomics:

1) Cutting taxes reduces the deficit. Even though it reduces revenue (and government spending is increasing), it will still reduce the deficit... EVENTUALLY.. You have to wait for all that tax cut money that is sent back to rich people to "trickle down" and stimualate the economy.

How long does it take? No one knows... we are still waiting. Apparrently it takes a really long time.

2) Giving back tax returns to the rich stimulates the economy a lot more than giving it to poor people. After all, rich people buy MORE EXPENSIVE things, so each of their purchases has more STIMULATION in it.

3) The Republicans are all about reducing the size of governement. Yet, somehow they still manage to make the deficit go through the roof while they are cutting it. One can only conclude that the price of governement must increase when republicans are in office, or they are not buying their government at the discount store where the demos shop.

4) When all else fails, accuse the democrats of wasting money on useless social programs like education, halth care, prescription drugs for the elderly....

Standing Wolf
July 20, 2003, 04:47 PM
The Republicrat party always thinks first, last, and always of the Republicrat party.

Marko Kloos
July 20, 2003, 04:57 PM
Just as soon as L(l)ibertarians demonstrate an ability, or even pointed in the direction of demonstrating an ability, to govern; they will have my vote.

Have the other two parties demonstrated their ability to govern? If so, how? And why do you think any group of 600 people randomly pulled from the populace could not have done an equally good job?

Truthfully, I don't see how the libertarians could do a worse job. At least they are philosophically committed to adherence to the Bill of Rights, and the Non-Agression Principle. Some folks, however, shudder at the idea of libertarians in control, because then nobody will be able to force those darn pot smokers to put out their doobies.

If you'd rather have the current incineration of the Bill of Rights at the hands of RebubliCrats, just because you don't know whether Libertarians would do a better job at governing, then by all means continue to vote for Statists. Don't be surprised if you get exactly the government you ask for.

Obiwan
July 20, 2003, 04:59 PM
The smartest thing I have seen written here is that it is "all about power"

Whatever your party...

But before you put the Republicans in the gunsights remember things like

The increases in airport security...Republican led...but the Dems got the whole group added to our FEDERAL EMPLOYEE roster...so we could all pay for that added security...can't even say that with a straight face:)

telomerase
July 20, 2003, 05:45 PM
>The increases in airport security...Republican led...but the Dems got the whole group added to our FEDERAL EMPLOYEE roster...so we could all pay for that added security...can't even say that with a straight face

Ha, ha, "added security"; I can't even hear it with a straight face. Of course it is a Republican president that is STILL refusing to let most of the airline pilots defend themselves (anyone know how many pilots have jumped through the hoops so far? Last I heard it was only 48).

Glock Glockler
July 20, 2003, 06:09 PM
Part of the blame does belong on the shoulders of the Libertarian party. They've been around for over 30 years and haven't made any discernable impact on the politics of the nation.

They seem quite content to complain about problems than actually doing anything that will solve them. Part of this is on their insistence on running candidates in high profile Federal races which they haven't the slightest chance of winning. Not only is it nothing more than an ego trip, but it reduces the amount of money that could be spent on electing viable candidates to local and state offices, but they don't seem interested in that. Why would you want to apply libertarian solutions to local problems when you could spend you time talking about national or geopolitical issues?

The sad fact is that people in this country are addicted to statism in one form or another, so when you talk about all these big, sweeping changes that you want to make on a national or global level people are not going to have faith that it'll work. If, however, you can show to people that your solutions work on a local level, they will be far more likely to vote Libertarian and take part in political activism because they won't feel it's a waste of their time.

Succeeding in local and state politics will also give Libertarians a great opportunity to spread the good word and make new contacts. This will be especially valuable as seeds of libertarian though are planted and will eventually take root. New volunteers and future candidates will also be harvested from this group of ever-expanding contacts that are made in community based political action. It will also give Libertarians that prescious thing called "experience" that is so valuable in higher elections, something that they currently lack, along with credibility.

Libertarians make the fatal mistake of talking to people about issues that are important to themselves instead of talking to people about issues that are important to those people. Joe Public doesn't give a damn about the drug war, the "Unconstitutionality" of the govt, and the moral ramifications of using govt as a means of social programs. He cares about his fat, lazy, WWF watching behind and how the govt can better help him remain fat and lazy. If he can get extra doles and Bene's from the govt, even if it's on the public dime, he'll do it. What is needed is for people to explain why the govt harms his interests and how he'd be better off with free market services.

Libertarians are their own worst enemies and until they take their heads out of theory and idealism, and embrace reality, they will continue to fail. For all their talk about the drug war, they'd be better off doing nothing other than paying Gary Johnson to speak at every High School and college in the country. If they did that, the drug war would be over in 10-15 yrs.

greyhound
July 20, 2003, 06:18 PM
I was just about to post something similar to Glock Glockler (good post).

The Libertarians have have got to start local. I, for one, would definately vote Libertarian for local and even state offices, but not national. I would like to, but not yet.

Slow and steady progress will win this race.

longeyes
July 20, 2003, 08:59 PM
If you want to slow, much less stop, the inexorable statist trends
synonymous with both major parties, you are going to have to let
the system grind to a halt--or encourage a widespread tax revolt. Only
when the money is finally and truly cut off, can you even expect the
real issues to be discussed.

In my native state of California--which I prefer to call
New Cuba--we are experimenting with that now. Our budget deficit is
impossible, our problems intractable--but when the money tap is actually
shut off maybe, just maybe, some of the more rational citizens will
actually begin to deal with the grim realities of fiscal sobriety.

Now, unfortunately, at the Federal level, there is such a thing as a
printing press. Throw a monkeywrench into that and perhaps there's some
hope some clicks down the road.

PileDriver
July 20, 2003, 09:28 PM
If you want to slow, much less stop, the inexorable statist trends
synonymous with both major parties, you are going to have to let
the system grind to a halt--or encourage a widespread tax revolt. Only
when the money is finally and truly cut off, can you even expect the
real issues to be discussed.







it's already happening www.givemeliberty.org


wait until the rest of the country finds out they're not liable to pay taxes.

spartacus2002
July 20, 2003, 09:51 PM
With employers pulling fed.gov and state.gov's share out of your paycheck before you see your paycheck, I'd like to know how to have a tax revolt. Unless you convince your employer to stop paying your taxes to the IRS.

Not being snotty; just genuinely curious.

Ian
July 20, 2003, 11:55 PM
Spartacus,

You can convince your employer not to withhold from you (I do know a couple people who have pulled this off) or quit and get a job that gives you more control over your money. Salaried jobs at large corporations are probably the worst jobs to have from a tax-evasion point of view.

Greyhound,

Local and state level libertarianism: the Free State Project (http://www.freestateproject.com). Our major issues are looking like they'll be zoning/land management, homeschooling, and CCW laws - all issues that can be easily marketed to the average apolitical citizen.

tyme
July 21, 2003, 12:06 AM
Don't forget that a republican congress also just authorized what I think is the largest debt ceiling increase in history - upping it from about 6.4 trillion to 7.4 trillion U.S.D.

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A43145-2003Jun27&notFound=true

Mike Irwin
July 21, 2003, 01:00 AM
So when has all of this been any different than at any other point in our nation's 225 year history?

When could anyone believe a politician?

When could anyone expect a nation with a multi-party system to be run without compromise?

PileDriver
July 21, 2003, 02:30 AM
With employers pulling fed.gov and state.gov's share out of your paycheck before you see your paycheck, I'd like to know how to have a tax revolt. Unless you convince your employer to stop paying your taxes to the IRS.

Not being snotty; just genuinely curious.








the site mentioned above can explain the law much better than i can. there are forms you can file (w-4) on which you can claim exempt.

PileDriver
July 21, 2003, 02:40 AM
You can convince your employer not to withhold from you (I do know a couple people who have pulled this off) or quit and get a job that gives you more control over your money. Salaried jobs at large corporations are probably the worst jobs to have from a tax-evasion point of view.






you can do more than convince, you can show them the law. your employer is not a legal witholding agent. our tax system is voluntary. as such, an employer cannot collect taxes you aren't liable for.


According to the law, the company cannot compel anyone to complete an IRS Form W-4 or any similar state form, nor to obtain or disclose a social security number. The law does not allow the company to deduct sums for taxes, fees or other charges WITHOUT the worker's voluntary, written authorization.

this isn't a tax evasion scheme in any way. most americans aren't liable for taxes according to the constitution as well as the ucc and the irs codes

Obiwan
July 21, 2003, 11:12 AM
The problem in a nutshell (IMHO)

Taxation rates will never rise high enough on the radar screen as long as we have such a large part of our population that derives benefit from all the fat government programs while shouldering very little of the actual tax burden.

As long as you have that are willing to trade paying just a little bit/little bit more in return for large entitlements we have a problem.

Thats when the Dems start trotting out old folks and kids and accuse the Reps of trying to kill/starve people just because we want to limit growth of some programs.

Best move we could make (IMHO) is to push all the "welfare" programs and entitlements (AKA-PORK) back down to the State level.

Then you could vote twice...once with your ballot...once with your feet

Monkeyleg
July 21, 2003, 06:07 PM
There's been a change in the Republican leadership since the 1994 "revolution." Newt Gingrich is gone, as are John Kasich, JC Watts and others who came into office supporting the Contract With America. It may well be that Kasich, Watts and the others have left out of disgust with what's been going on.

Running deficits during bad economic times isn't necessarily a poor strategy. Imagine that you lost your job and then your kid got really sick; would you borrow money from your home equity to take care of your kid? I'd bet you would. What you would not do is go out and buy a new expensive toy, which is what the Republicans are doing with the prescription drug plan, ethanol subsidies, and so on.

The Republicans (including Bush) think that if they can beat the Democrats at their own entitlement games, they'll win in 2004. I'm beginning to think that strategy is going to backfire on them, and that a good chunk of the conservative base will stay home, as they did in 1992.

Look at what they've accomplished by passing the prescription drug plan. It was originally Kennedy and Daschle's plan, and now those two are beating up on Bush, complaining that it doesn't go far enough. By election day next year, the seniors are still going to believe that Bush doesn't care about them. $400 billion was wasted trying to court votes that GW largely will never get.

SkunkApe
July 21, 2003, 07:00 PM
The Republicans (including Bush) think that if they can beat the Democrats at their own entitlement games, they'll win in 2004. -Monkeyleg

Which is exactly the problem. Most Republicans and Democrats support things that they believe will get them elected, rather than supporting things that they believe are true and good and right.

I have greater respect for a principled man with whom I disagree than I do for a con man that only claims to agree with me for the purpose of getting my vote.

Orthonym
July 21, 2003, 07:17 PM
Don't forget that the Republicans were the ORIGINAL big-government party! That socialist rag "The Nation" was founded by REPUBLICANS! It was the Republicans who gave us Prohibition! (and the females, but I'll save that for another rant:D ) As far as I'm concerned, Lincoln=Lenin!

Obiwan
July 22, 2003, 11:33 AM
Maybe this will make it clearer

http://186thousand.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=48;t=000043

aikidoka-mks
July 23, 2003, 12:40 AM
I admit that I am not happy with Bush supporting the wrong medicare plan in congress or with giving some support to the supreme court edict on diversity, or having ted kennedy write the education bill but what is also important to me is that he is clearly pro-life and has made positive moves on that issue. He has also pushed tax cuts. The assault weapons support appears to have been a smart political move - though it has serious risk. I do agree with going to war with Iraq and do not believe the case for war was a basket of lies as some are saying. As for a republican controlled congress - is that really true? How many of those are RINOs? I pretty much agreee with Rush Limbaugh's analyses. They seem to be trying to whoo liberals/democrats with social spending in order to get reelected. Problem is you cant just turn around and act differently or you lose them on the next election cycle and u cannot outspend the opposition as another poster has mentioned. I am holding out that Bush appoints conservative justices anywhere he can as that can have a huge impact on our nation. its not a perfect world and I doubt there will ever be a perfect candidate for conservatives that can get elected AND have a congress that will enact all of their proposals.

Just my 2 cents.

Mark

If you enjoyed reading about "The Republican spending orgy" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!