Skip to comments.GOP Addicted to Big Government
Posted on 09/06/2005 2:32:19 PM PDT by Constitution Restoration Act
For decades conservative Republicans dreamed of controlling the White House and Congress. The rallying cry was If only we had the power, we could revolutionize this country and end the era of big government. Well, in January 2001, it finally happened and the GOP took control of Congress and the White House. Since that time, it has held total control, except for a 17-month period in 2001-02. Yet, not only has Washington D.C. not been revolutionized, but spending has skyrocketed, deficits have ballooned and government has never been bigger.
What happened? It seems that Republicans in Congress only act like Republicans when Democrats are in charge. When the GOP has control, they change from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde and become the monsters they battled against.
Since 2001, Republicans have passed the pork barrel laden farm bill, an all too expensive education bill, approved a massive new government bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Security and added an unnecessary Medicare prescription benefit, which according to economist Stephen Moore is the most financially irresponsible legislation of the last 30 years." The party of fiscal discipline is gone and Republicans have become addicted to the big government disease. In treating drug addicts, counselors always look for an important first step, the admission of a problem. Unfortunately, Republicans dont see big government as a problem anymore, but just a way to buy votes from constituents also addicted to big government. Yet, this addiction is a true problem because as cogently observed by commentator Cal Thomas, Government programs are the only sign of eternal life on earth.
Recently, two more monstrosities were passed by the Republican controlled Congress, the energy bill and the transportation bill. Both bills are loaded with pork, include too many unnecessary projects and provide obscene perks for influential special interest groups. For example, in the $286.4 billion transportation bill, there is $230 million allocated for a bridge in Alaska to connect an island of 50 people to the mainland. It has been aptly called the Bridge to Nowhere. The energy bill authorizes spending of $66 billion and includes $14.5 billion in tax breaks. It doubles the domestic mandate for ethanol production to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012, giving corporate welfare to farmers and little benefit to consumers.
Our federal budget deficit is $333 billion, down from $412 billion last year, but truly misleading according to Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), who believes that Congress is raiding Social Security to mask the true size of the deficit. What true deficit reduction has occurred had been due solely to increased tax revenues and not fiscal restraint.
Not only is there no fiscal discipline, there is no conservative agenda. Despite the Presidents talk, there is no social security reform on the horizon and no real tax reform being seriously debated. Despite having control of Congress and the White House, Republicans are not pursuing a real conservative agenda, only more big government. For example, a true conservative agenda on the pressing issues of immigration reform, the real threats to the English language, or the multi-faceted culture war does not have the support of the GOP leadership in Congress or the White House and is in no danger of being passed. Republicans seem more interested in providing voters the security of big government than in providing effective border security.
But, isnt the country doing so well due to visionary GOP policies? Maybe according to Republican lapdogs on talk radio and Fox News, but real America outside of the beltway knows better. Real wages declined in 2004 and the first quarter of 2005. There are 22,000 fewer private sector jobs today than in March of 2001, when the recession started. Our stock market is stagnant, while gasoline prices keep rising and consumer debt and bankruptcies are skyrocketing. Our trade deficit just keeps going higher, and coupled with large budget deficits and purposely weak U.S. treasury policies, the dollar will continue to get pummeled in currency exchanges.
Today, the politically correct crowd rules the day and the Republicans do not have the will or in the inclination to do anything about it. A party that used to be defined by the mantra of smaller government and more individual freedom is basically indistinguishable from the Democrats on fiscal and cultural matters. With philosophical differences between the parties on domestic issues gone, is it any surprise that a new Gallup poll shows Americans becoming more favorable to the Democratic Party. Voters will realize that if both parties stand for big government, they might as well support the real thing as opposed to the sick and confused imitation.
In Washington D.C. today, bringing home the bacon is the main goal, not advancing individual freedom or a conservative agenda. This is not what I signed up for as a Reagan Republican. If politics today is all about power, not ideology or principled differences, count me out. So, if the Republicans are not going to govern any differently than the Democrats, whats the use?
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and his Louisiana based program, Ringside Politics, airs at 8:30 p.m. Friday and 10:30 p.m. Sunday on WLAE-TV, Channel 32. Visit his website at www.ringsidepolitics.com.
Free Republic is a loosely organized group of grassroots Americans who support our Constitution and look for honesty, integrity and honor from those in government. Like millions of Americans, we are fed up with our out of control federal government. Therefore, we are working together to roll back decades of liberal/socialist public policy and eliminate the waste, fraud, abuse and corruption pervasive in Washington today.
A return to a strictly Constitutional form of federal government will automatically repeal and abolish all unconstitutional federal involvement in states issues such as: crime, health, education, welfare and the environment. The Tenth Amendment will again be in effect, which will bar all federal attempts at legislating social issues. This will also require that social programs such as Social Security, welfare and Medicare be repealed. So too, will most federal subsidies.
Republicans routinely portray themselves as fiscal guardians. In truth, they, like the Democrats, are irresponsible wastrels. Outlays are up by one third under President George W. Bush, making him the biggest spender since Lyndon B. Johnson. As the Cato Institute's Stephen Slivinski observes, "Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years."
In contrast, Ronald Reagan cut real domestic spending. Notes Slivinski: "George W. Bush's tenure, however, is a return to the Johnson and Carter philosophy of budgeting: across-the-board increases in defense as well as nondefense spending, and at astonishing rates."
Other than a brief moment after the GOP gained control of Congress in 1994, Republican legislators have shown little interest in controlling spending. Outlays continue to move ever upward, irrespective of year or party-or program effectiveness. In its 1994 Contract With America, the GOP promised to kill three Cabinet departments and more than 200 programs. All of the departments and all but 19 of the programs survive. The collective budget of the largest 100 programs on the Republicans hit list are up more than a quarter, even after adjusting for inflation.
Between the uncontrolled spending, uncontrolled borders and poorly thought out trade treaties that put US industry on the defensive, I really do not know how the GOP is conservative anymore.
amazing what power does, especially to those who covet it with the fervor of a politician.
After Katrina, it's only going to get bigger.
It was probably on it's last legs even before Katrina hit, but Katrina marks the death of the "Reagan Revolution" I'm afraid.
I have nothing to add. These words say it all.
Now we get the GOP saying the feds didn't do enough in the wake of the hurricane. The party of the limited federal government is dead. The GOP seems to want this to become a larger federal issue. The media asks why the feds didn't respond better and they are driving the issue home about more federal control and blame. The end result of this mess will be even more federal control taken from the states and the problem will only be made worse. The rats are looking to capitalize on this by getting their wish of more socialism and I think some of our RINO friends welcome the opportunity to bloat the fed some more.
The GOP is moving into the vacuum left by the Democrats' self-destructing and will eventually be like the pre-Vietnam Democrats. Conservatives need a new party of their own but before that can become a fact they'll have to learn to agree to disagree on drugs, abortion and religion-in-government. I don't hold high hopes of this happening.
You have identified quite clearly the problem...........now enter the solution: Mike Pence
The answer is that you need a True Conservative leader like a Mark Souder to vault to the nomination or close to it.
Here's the deal. You get someone in the primaries and they'll sound fiscally Conservative enough, socially conservative enough, and foreign policy savvy enough to pass the minimum Conservatism tests. If you want more than that you have to demand it.
Sometimes I think it boils down to which of the two groups cronies will rule the serfs. Pretty sad and very scary!
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