Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hey Big Spender

Truemors ran this:

President Bush has increased discretionary federal spending faster than any president in history, at an annual rate of 5.3%....The discretionary spending increase in just one term of Bush was more than double the increase in a full two terms of Bill Clinton. Discretionary spending excludes the entitlements of Social Security and Medicare. It can’t be laid at the feet of 9/11 and the two wars, either — spending is up, in some cases dramatically, across the board.

Which is why I've spent the last several years distinguishing between neo-conservatives and conservatives.

And this is why, when you strip the fluff away, Ron Paul spins a message (even back in 1988) that is appealing to some people:

"I find it amazing that [President Reagan] was elected running for a balanced budget and condemning President Carter, yet today the deficit is twice as great. In 1980, the deficit stood at 985 billion. By the end of this year, the debt ceiling will hit 2.8 trillion. Reagan's deficit is greater than all other president's deficits combined.

"Now, when an individual is broke, he's in trouble. When the government is broke, they just print more money. The government ought to be held to the same standards as individuals."

Now I don't quite go that far - I can see some valid arguments for government intervention in the economy at certain times - but too much is too much. And the whole view of fiscal conservatism is being re-evaluated:

It is much more difficult to call fiscal conservatism a "Republican affinity" now than in 2004. Back then, there was unwarranted hope that Republican control of the Senate would rein in the profligacy of George W. Bush's first term. Not only was that a pipe dream, but the leading Democratic presidential candidates are falling over each other to be known as balanced-budget advocates. Hillary Clinton has a decided advantage here because her husband attained a fiscal surplus during his tenure in office.

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