Skip to comments.CATO Institute lambastes President Bush
Posted on 08/01/2003 6:05:23 PM PDT by Harlequin
The Bush administration's newly released budget projections reveal an anticipated budget deficit of $450 billion for the current fiscal year, up another $151 billion since February. Supporters and critics of the administration are tripping over themselves to blame the deficit on tax cuts, the war, and a slow economy. But the fact is we have mounting deficits because George W. Bush is the most gratuitous big spender to occupy the White House since Jimmy Carter. One could say that he has become the "Mother of All Big Spenders."
The new estimates show that, under Bush, total outlays will have risen $408 billion in just three years to $2.272 trillion: an enormous increase in federal spending of 22 percent. Administration officials privately admit that spending is too high. Yet they argue that deficits are appropriate in times of war and recession. So, is it true that the war on terrorism has resulted in an increase in defense spending? Yes. And, is it also true that a slow economy has meant a decreased stream of tax revenues to pay for government? Yes again.
But the real truth is that national defense is far from being responsible for all of the spending increases. According to the new numbers, defense spending will have risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. Government agencies that Republicans were calling to be abolished less than 10 years ago, such as education and labor, have enjoyed jaw-dropping spending increases under Bush of 70 percent and 65 percent respectively.
Now, most rational people would cut back on their spending if they knew their income was going to be reduced in the near future. Any smart company would look to cut costs should the business climate take a turn for the worse. But the administration has been free spending into the face of a recessionary economy from day one without making any serious attempt to reduce costs.
The White House spinmeisters insist that we keep the size of the deficit "in perspective." Sure it's appropriate that the budget deficit should be measured against the relative size of the economy. Today, the projected budget deficit represents 4.2 percent of the nation's GDP. Thus the folks in the Bush administration pat themselves on the back while they remind us that in the 1980s the economy handled deficits of 6 percent. So what? Apparently this administration seems to think that achieving low standards instead of the lowest is supposed to be comforting.
That the nation's budgetary situation continues to deteriorate is because the administration's fiscal policy has been decidedly more about politics than policy. Even the tax cuts, which happened to be good policy, were still political in nature considering their appeal to the Republican's conservative base. At the same time, the politicos running the Bush reelection machine have consistently tried to placate or silence the liberals and special interests by throwing money at their every whim and desire. In mathematical terms, the administration calculates that satiated conservatives plus silenced liberals equals reelection.
How else can one explain the administration publishing a glossy report criticizing farm programs and then proceeding to sign a farm bill that expands those same programs? How else can one explain the administration acknowledging that entitlements are going to bankrupt the nation if left unreformed yet pushing the largest historical expansion in Medicare one year before the election? Such blatant political maneuvering can only be described as Clintonian.
But perhaps we are being unfair to former President Clinton. After all, in inflation-adjusted terms, Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent. This is contrasted by Bush's three-year total spending increase of 15.6 percent and a 20.8 percent explosion in non-defense discretionary spending.
Sadly, the Bush administration has consistently sacrificed sound policy to the god of political expediency. From farm subsidies to Medicare expansion, purchasing reelection votes has consistently trumped principle. In fact, what we have now is a president who spends like Carter and panders like Clinton. Our only hope is that the exploding deficit will finally cause the administration to get serious about controlling spending.
rats have taught the American public to be dependent on government, and shake down their Reps and Senators, and Mayors, City Councils and State reps, etc. for goodies which amount to a bloated spending that includes government involvement with public funds that we cannot even conceive.
All GWB is trying to do right now is get some Conservative Judges put into office, get a REPUBLICAN Senate (not semi rino Senate) and a stronger Conservative House of Representatives.
We are at war, and this is a fight for survival against the socialists .
GWB is not winning any war - it was over quite a while ago. This is a police action. The war was never in doubt by anyone with a lick of sense.
I think it may have been better to have just offered the $30million for him dead from the start. Cheaper too.
Aim low and see what you get. If all you expect is GWB that is all you will get.
You said this:
"I'll be more than happy to support a conservative when one is eventually lofted for us to support again."
Then you said this:
"I didn't say I wouldn't help get him lofted."
What then did you mean by "WHEN ONE IS LOFTED FOR US"?
"Luis, you don't know what I do or don't do."
Hell Ron, YOU don't know what YOU are saying, or NOT saying anymore, let alone what you're doing.
139 posted on 08/01/2003 8:00 PM PDT by Luis Gonzalez (Yo soy la Cuba libre.)
In post 128 I said: "I didn't say I wouldn't help get him lofted, I just said I wouldn't until one was lofted. I can work for a guy, but if he isn't the nominee that doesn't mean I'm going to vote for the DimPublican anyway."
Was that too complex for you? Let me help...
1. There are generally a variety of Republican candidates at the end of second term Republican administration, or each Democrat term end.
2. I can chose to support one of them, but if they aren't the annointed candidate by party leadership they'll generally not be the nominee.
3. In 1996 the RP leadership actually fielded folks on the Sunday morning talk shows to call Pat Buchanan "the next Hitler", "Hitleresque" or "if not Hitler, walking right up to the line", after he won the New Hampshire primary that year.
4. If as in 1996, someone other than my candidate becomes the nominee, I didn't help loft him. I didn't loft Dole.
If you were a guy that was intimately as involved in the political process as you claim to be, I would think you wouldn't have to have this expained to you in detail.
You bet I and many others want GWB and what's more, we want, nay, we DEMAND that he be re-elected. This is far from " aiming low ".
Much bigger deal than that. It took a lot of skill; he's making it look easy.
Just over there is Gore who would have botched it.
He meant only Iraq.
I have a distinct feeling no matter what some here say you're going to have a lot of company by 2004 if not sooner
If Bush loses there will be grid lock - I like grid lock - nothing gets passed.
I find what Reagan did to be irrelevant. He was not dealing with a recession, the economic consequences of an attack on our country and the blowup that the Enrons caused. Any one of those things was plateful, Bush has had a damn seven course meal. As I pointed out, if he's at 18%, he's lower than the Dems proposed.
Much friendlier than the House Reagan had to work with under Tip O'Neill.
Tip O'Neill is no comparison to the incompetent and unprincipled Daschle. And this is not to mention that Reagan had a victory of almost 10 points over Carter, before a landslide in 1984. Bush had no such clear mandate.
For Bush to behave as a fiscal conservative would.
I wouldn't admire Bush a bit if, after September 11, he had chosen to divide this country and stoke even further animosity over domestic spending issues at the expense of the war on terrorism, tax cuts, the Senate majority, judicial nominees, and at least the fair shot at another term. I don't think that would have been leadership, it would have been a Carter-like poison that would take years to overcome.
If true, then he would have misplaced his priorities. Since right now, he is more focussed on finding OBL and Saddam as he should be.
Besides, who wants a politically biased judge? Why not have an apolitical non biased judge who rules on the rule of law regardless of their political views? Too much to wish for? Probably, but that is the way the rule of law is/was intended to work.
How did the judiciary become politicized? It's not supposed to be. Is this the end of the rule of law?
not according to the White house. Or did you miss the news?
GWB is missusing the military - they should have a lot more people in there and cut freedoms until the bad guys are out - but that isn't PC is it?
I don't care if the Arabs like us - but we do have the means to make them respect us. While American boys are dropping at about one a day, I think we should be much firmer. If the military is doing police duty, get them the numbers they need to do it right.
I frankly think if we go in to a war we should go in with guns blazing and conquer totally - to the point that we take over their schools and teach the kids English and capialism. We should be installing Capitalism but GWB is installing Socialism in Iraq.
Im no peace nut but when we use the military let us make gains the last otherwise we should have stayed home. (I would have been in favor of using a nuke or two to encourage mass surrender if it avoided risk to our men.)
I intend to write in John Stossel.
He expanded the number of people who recieve more money than they pay. That money came from people who pay more than they receive. He may have cut taxes for some, but he increased the redistribution of wealth in the process. The more people there are who pay no income tax, the more people there are who will not resist the growth of governmant.
And your credentials as the exemplar of THE " expert " on war and things military are ... ? You don't know the first thing about this sort of detail.Your way would NOT be better; it would be far worse and also far more detrimental to our goals in the Middle East!
Try researching what it was like when we were doing the same kind of opperation in Germany, after Hitler fell and we were STILL fighting off the Japs.You might actually learn something and at least it would broaden your myopic, ill educated opinion.
Frankly, you haven't a clue. You're all bravado, talk, and little in the way of brains. This isn't the 12th century, or earlier. Heck, even the ancient Romans didn't fight the way you want 21rst.century American to wage war. Your view is that of a child, playing at war.
Give me the name of the non-GOP candidate who will keep Democrats from power next elections.
You're the one who said you couldn't take it anymore and was fed up, so being somewhat intelligent, that means you are angry, correct? This has nothing to do with me needing to taunt you because I'm a Bushbot......oooooohh, that is childish.
Yes I did, so I guess it's fair for you to address my frustration. If he was my next door neighbor I'd love to play cards or go plinking with him on the north forty. I am not angry with him and I don't think I called you a Bushbot.
So, you are angry, and that somehow makes your ideas...right?
I can appreciate that it looks like I'm angry, and if you wish to think that I am, that's okay.
Reading your gripe list, no one, anywhere, can do those things as there is no mandate to do it. This is the reality, plus your list is boilerplate.
Just so we get this straight, the ideals we used to consider conservative are now boiler plate and what Bush is doing is conservative. Okay, I understand your position now. Sadly 75% of what Bush is doing now is what was known as liberal Socialist democrat boiler plate until the spring of 2000.
And don't accuse me of being dishonest because I don't share your goals, as if they are somehow more noble than anyone else's.
This isn't about you being dishonest for not sharing my goals, but don't come here and review a list of cosnervative issues then call it boiler plate and refuse to accept it for what it is. Just one of these issues, big government spending isn't conservative. You can't simply change what is conservative and what isn't because Bush does or doesn't do it.
I have differing expectations that you, but will that stop you from accusing someone like me from being a mind numbed robot?
I don't believe I did call you a Bushbot. I went back through our complete exchange, and unless I missed it, I didn't. Now I may have implied that through my comments, but I'm not sure what you want me to do if I address what have been conservative ideals for the last 25 years, and you call them boiler plate.
You just wanna fight and be pissed off and grind your teeth...what you demand will never come to pass, except on the margins, which requires TIME.Having taxes be at 20% of GNP vs 23% is about all i expect, so don't piss on me because your dreams can't come true.
Despite you colorful euphemisms, I'm trying to tell you I can't support a man who is ruling in the manner Bush is. I do support some of what he does, but other things are so outside the bounds I cannot sign on. I'm not the only guy in the class to raise these questions. If you want to dismiss my opinion, that's your choice, but this opinion does exist, it's not as outside the mainstream as you might wish it to be. And in the long run, I thing the Bush people are going to have to either deal with it or accept the results. Now those results may be infantesimile. If so, you and your policy wins. I don't think conservatism or the nation does.
155 posted on 08/01/2003 8:25 PM PDT by habs4ever
"...when one is eventually lofted for us...
So what you are now trying to tell me, is that when you said "until one is LOFTED FOR US", that meant that you would do the lofting?
YOU WILL NEED A COUPLE OF THESE TO FOLLOW THE SPINNING BRIGADIER'S EXPLANATIONS!
Pleasure to meet you.
You didn't, but you are enamored with the sound of your fingers hitting the keys.
Projetion is a cureable mental disorder. You'd think that those sufferring from it would get help; but they don't. Pity that.
Let's just stick with our own nics, shall we ? Other people's shameless renamings are only mildly amusing and invalid. LOL
And seeing that the country is split down the middle, that isn't too easy.
I see you still gain rave reviews from the fans.
Right, that's the crack in which we find our rear ends now. We really have no choice as things stand today. We can vote for W, and continue the expansion of government at this insane pace, with no secure borders and no end in sight to the spending, or we get a Democrat and we're really shafted. (Can you imagine President Hillary with the Patriot Act at her disposal? )
The silver lining is the fact that we MIGHT get some decent judges appointed, and we MIGHT get abortion outlawed at the Federal level. And we MIGHT win this war domestically if W can get over the PC philosophy that he's too familiar with, and abroad if he decides to deal with the Saudis once and for all.
So we are stuck with the Republicans, domestically the Democrats of the 80's. yay team.