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Posted: 1/11/2005 4:47:34 PM EDT
The Republican spending orgy
Boston Globe | Jeff Jacoby

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?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:50:39 PM EDT
Homeland security, TSA..
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:50:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:51:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:52:32 PM EDT
I know! It's awfull! You should leave.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:52:50 PM EDT
I have stated here before:

Bush's spending record will haunt his successor.

As will his immigration stance.

He owes it to those that follow to maintain the distinction between repubs and demoncraps.

And just because he's doing cool stuff with the money doesn't mean it's OK to spend like a drunken sailor.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:55:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:



lots of talk here about 'limited government', 'constitutional rights', 'freedom', etc, but that is all fluff talk, because if you actually support those things, you wouldnt be supporting how this administration and this party are growing government like never seen before.

do you think a larger government is going to equal 'more freedom'?

so all of you who say i am a democrat/liberal/troll/communist/etc, does that mean you support legalizing all illegal immigrants here. does that mean you support big government handouts? are you a fan of the ever increasing size of the alphabet soup agencies?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:56:39 PM EDT
Bush doesn't have the line-item veto that Clinton had for most of his Presidency to cut out specific parts of the budget. There's been some talk of reinstating it in a way that doesn't get struck down by the courts.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:57:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Pangea:
I know! It's awfull! You should leave.



i love this country, that's why i hate to see what is happening to it.

how is leaving going to fix anything? the only way to fix things is by voting.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:58:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By poink:

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:



lots of talk here about 'limited government', 'constitutional rights', 'freedom', etc, but that is all fluff talk, because if you actually support those things, you wouldnt be supporting how this administration and this party are growing government like never seen before.

do you think a larger government is going to equal 'more freedom'?

so all of you who say i am a democrat/liberal/troll/communist/etc, does that mean you support legalizing all illegal immigrants here. does that mean you support big government handouts? are you a fan of the ever increasing size of the alphabet soup agencies?




I agree with you here.

Unfortunately, it's not just Bush, or the Republicans or the DemoRats. It's the Government it's self. Democracy fails when the masses realize they can vote themselves bread and circuses.

Basically, we are bankrupt and have been for decades. Bush's spending spree just forestalls the pain.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:58:13 PM EDT
What's your point Poink
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:03:14 PM EDT
All parties do it.

CRC
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:07:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CRC:
All parties do it.

CRC



www.lp.org
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:09:13 PM EDT
hey they can throw some of that money my way while they are at it then
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:10:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 5:20:20 PM EDT by winemaster]
Well put and using facts to support the poblems with Bush. I do not know how he can support wars in two countries (with more to come), improve the American economy and guarantee support to Asia with the Tsunami. We all will be paying for this for a very long time and still be able to lower taxes. Does not make sense to me.

I still am amazed that any middle class person voted for him in any state.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:12:30 PM EDT
One cannot say enough about the reckless government spending by our Congress and President over the past several years. But I shudder to think how bad it would be if the Democrats were in power.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:15:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By IllinoisGun:
One cannot say enough about the reckless government spending by our Congress and President over the past several years. But I shudder to think how bad it would be if the Democrats were in power.



yes, it would be worse...or would it? this administration grew government more than liberal billy-bob clinton did.

the whole lesser of two evils ideology is starting to become rather dangerous and costly. unfortunately, things are only going to get much worse before people start realizing this.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:15:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By IllinoisGun:
One cannot say enough about the reckless government spending by our Congress and President over the past several years. But I shudder to think how bad it would be if the Democrats were in power.



I agree with the sentiment, but don't you think a Repub Congress would liklier put the brakes on the spending if proposed by a demoncrap?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:17:40 PM EDT
Instead of just calling him a troll, perhaps some constructive criticism should be thrown at the points presented.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:19:01 PM EDT
The Boston Globe.....sigh....Bush Won, poink, get over it.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:22:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Da_Bunny:
The Boston Globe.....sigh....Bush Won, poink, get over it.



and limbaugh has written articles for the new york times, what's your point?

yes, it is a biased paper, and i'm not refuting that, but you can refute any of the facts, numbers, or statistics this guy used?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:24:19 PM EDT
Much as I dislike the spending spree the current administration is on, I have to say at least its being put to good use. IOW, Killing terrorists.


Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:24:20 PM EDT
Things changed in the US after that original surplus was calculated.

The Military was scaled back. The inteligence agencies were hurting.

Then 9/11.

Priorities changed. To hell with the surplus when we were vunerable. In majority it was Clinton and the Democrat's fault. They slashed the budgets that should not have been until they showed a surplus.

3000 americans died one day to pay for that surplus.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:30:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mr-T:
Bush doesn't have the line-item veto that Clinton had for most of his Presidency to cut out specific parts of the budget. There's been some talk of reinstating it in a way that doesn't get struck down by the courts.



You mean the one that was found unconstitutional the first time he used it and was never used again?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:31:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Synister1:
Things changed in the US after that original surplus was calculated.

The Military was scaled back. The inteligence agencies were hurting.

Then 9/11.

Priorities changed. To hell with the surplus when we were vunerable. In majority it was Clinton and the Democrat's fault. They slashed the budgets that should not have been until they showed a surplus.

3000 americans died one day to pay for that surplus.




ok, but that still doesnt make sense, since we are spending more money on social spending than we are on the military and defense.

how does giving free prescription drugs to every senior citizen help the war on terror? will legalizing all illegal immigrants make sure another 9/11 doesnt happen (no, it will probably make it more probable).
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:31:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
Much as I dislike the spending spree the current administration is on, I have to say at least its being put to good use. IOW, Killing terrorists.



How does the TSA kill terrorists? How did the multi-billion-dollar airline bailout kill terrorists?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:33:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Unfortunately, it's not just Bush, or the Republicans or the DemoRats. It's the Government it's self. Democracy fails when the masses realize they can vote themselves bread and circuses.

Basically, we are bankrupt and have been for decades. Bush's spending spree just forestalls the pain.


Agreed.

Government is the problem. The political parties are along for the ride.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:37:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CITADELGRAD87:
I have stated here before:

Bush's spending record will haunt his successor.

As will his immigration stance.

He owes it to those that follow to maintain the distinction between repubs and demoncraps.

And just because he's doing cool stuff with the money doesn't mean it's OK to spend like a drunken sailor.



+1

Drug welfare for seniors
Condoms for the congo
A tsunami of handouts.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:38:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Unfortunately, it's not just Bush, or the Republicans or the DemoRats. It's the Government it's self. Democracy fails when the masses realize they can vote themselves bread and circuses.

Basically, we are bankrupt and have been for decades. Bush's spending spree just forestalls the pain.


Agreed.

Government is the problem. The political parties are along for the ride.




Let's not let the sheeple off either - they demand MORE, and reward those that give it (re election)
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:42:42 PM EDT
Just a reminder: The budget comes out of the HOUSE. The President just gets to influence it a bit and sign it. But CONGRESS originates it and passes it.

And it's a REPUBLICAN Congress that's spending like a drunken sailor, like it or not.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:42:49 PM EDT
?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:44:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Let's not let the sheeple off either - they demand MORE, and reward those that give it (re election)


I can agree with that, too.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 5:51:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By poink:

Originally Posted By CRC:
All parties do it.

CRC



www.lp.org






You're NOT serious, are you?

I guess it's easy to talk big about what one would do in power when one never actually has been in power (and doesn't stand a real chance of being in power in any forseeable future).


If the libertarians ever got into power, they'd quickly fall prey to the same temptations, and have to repay the same favors for being elected - and they'd succumb to the same hybris that everyone else in power eventually succumbs to.

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:00:44 PM EDT
DAMNIT!!! Why didn't I vote for Kerry?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:12:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By winemaster:
I still am amazed that any middle class person voted for him in any state.



Um, that might have something to do with the left considering us mouth-breathing, Jesus-loving, gun-owning neanderthals to be more of an enemy than the Islamists.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:23:51 PM EDT

If ...ever got into power, they'd quickly fall prey to the same temptations, and have to repay the same favors for being elected - and they'd succumb to the same hubris that everyone else in power eventually succumbs to.

And that's the only reason stopping me from trying to run for office myself... I figure by the time I got there, I'd have been corrupted beyond repair :)
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:42:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
Instead of just calling him a troll, perhaps some constructive criticism should be thrown at the points presented.



OMG! poink is right!
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:01:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 7:01:39 PM EDT by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By dmaas:

If ...ever got into power, they'd quickly fall prey to the same temptations, and have to repay the same favors for being elected - and they'd succumb to the same hubris that everyone else in power eventually succumbs to.

And that's the only reason stopping me from trying to run for office myself... I figure by the time I got there, I'd have been corrupted beyond repair :)



Thanks for correcting my spelling error/typo , btw.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:02:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By CITADELGRAD87:
I have stated here before:

Bush's spending record will haunt his successor.

As will his immigration stance.

He owes it to those that follow to maintain the distinction between repubs and demoncraps.

And just because he's doing cool stuff with the money doesn't mean it's OK to spend like a drunken sailor.



+1

Drug welfare for seniors
Condoms for the congo
A tsunami of handouts.



amzingly you fail to mention

Bid free contracts
airline bailouts
going to the moon.

at least those you mention helped actual people. the same can't be said about those I mention.

CEO's are doing cartwheels for sure.


Chris
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 9:12:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KBaker:
Just a reminder: The budget comes out of the HOUSE. The President just gets to influence it a bit and sign it. But CONGRESS originates it and passes it.

And it's a REPUBLICAN Congress that's spending like a drunken sailor, like it or not.



No.

GWB PROPOSED and insisted on immediate passage of the senior drug handout bill, so fast there wasn't eve time to write in an income test.

Do you know that AARP's own surveying shows senionrs, on average, spend 4x more on cruises than on prescription meds?

The homeland security stuff originated with GWB, too.

Congress can't say no to one of their own, but GWB is at the helm of this.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 9:20:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2005 9:21:19 AM EDT by magnum_99]
It does not matter who is president.

The bureaucracy will simply not allow less spending, less government, or lower taxes.

There are too many hands in the cookie jar, too many backs to scratch, and too much influence to peddle for any meaningful reform to ever take place.

Government exists to vet itself, to grow and to justify its own existence. It is like fire--it's a living, breathing thing, that needs to grow and consume-it cannot create.

We can only forestall or lessen the impact of bad government decisions at this point.
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