Skip to comments.A government limited to what?
Posted on 09/04/2002 11:06:40 AM PDT by RJCogburn
LIMITED GOVERNMENT. We hear that conservative mantra a lot, especially at election time. Shake a tree in southern New Hampshire this campaign season and chances are at least one Republican candidate for Congress will fall out, proclaiming limited government three times before touching the ground.
Its counterpart is never heard. No one campaigns, at least not openly, for unlimited, or absolutist, government. No, its always limited government. Limited government today, limited government tomorrow, limited government forever!
Somehow we never seem to wonder why, after years of electing candidates sworn to limited government, the government keeps growing in size and cost. The federal government is bigger and, at $2 trillion-plus and rising, a good deal costlier now than it was just seven years ago, when Republicans took control of Congress in the Republican Revolution. Its bigger and costlier than it was six years ago when that poster child for decadent liberalism, William J. Clinton, announced to the nation: The era of big government is over. Big government must have missed the news.
No one seems to notice that this limited government gag is as transparent as the emperors new clothes. We prefer not to notice, really. Its a lot easier to just go on believing in limited government and voting for those who say they do, too. The amazing thing is, we never even ask what ought to be the most obvious question: Limited to what?
Perhaps there was a time when Americans could assume, if they thought about it at all, that limited government meant a federal government that would do only those things it is authorized to do by powers granted in our federal Constitution. But limited government has been taken off the Constitution standard, just as the dollar was long ago taken off the gold standard. Limits on federal power have, like the value of the currency, been allowed to float. And theyre still floating.
Consider, for example, the two members of Congress now competing in New Hampshire for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Sen. Bob Smith and Rep. John Sununu. Each comes to the voters with impressive conservative credentials. Both get high ratings from all the right organizations. They get Friend of the Taxpayer Awards and ratings above 90 percent from organizations like the American Conservative Union and Citizens Against Government Waste. Theyre both A students, which suggests the currency isnt the only thing thats been inflated.
In their televised debate last week, Smith and Sununu sparred over a prescription drug benefit as an expansion of Medicare. Neither spoke of the need to rein in the bureaucracy and streamline the approval process at the Food and Drug Administration, so the drugs might be less costly to produce. (Time is money, after all.) Each defended his vote in favor of the Bush-Kennedy-Gregg education reform, the No Child Left Behind Act, that allegedly increases local control in 1,184 pages of federal legislation. The scary part is that people who live and work in Washington can actually believe such nonsense.
In our Constitution of delegated powers, there is not one that remotely gives Congress any authority at all over the education of schoolchildren. So the only education reform conservatives should be championing, and the one way to truly increase local control, is the abolition of all federal education programs. But why do that when you can pass nearly 1,200 pages of federal rules and regulations to make local schools more accountable?
Smith charged that Sununu, having once pledged to support the abolition of the National Endowment for the Arts, voted with the Democrats to fund the agency. There are, alas, more than a few Republicans who have voted for that funding, as Smith well knows. And Smith lists among his accomplishments the securing of $500,000 of federal money for the renovation of the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Whether that money came from the NEA or some other agency, the principle is the same. Between them, these two men apparently see the subsidizing of artistic productions and the renovation of a local theater as federal concerns. And these are two of the most conservative members of the U.S. Congress.
Today, with a $2 trillion budget (in deficit by a $165 billion or so), being conservative means you never have to say, Were out of money. A representative or senator could say, if so inclined, that there is nothing in the Constitution that authorizes Congress to spend money on artistic productions or theater renovations. But even the most conservative members of Congress are more likely to be struck by lightning than by a thought of the Constitution. Perhaps its just as well.
The lightning might do some good.
"Government ought to have a policy that helps people with a downpayment."
A. - OR - B.
You are not hallucinating, he really wants to have the government provide downpayments.
Bush has been increasing real federal domestic expenditures by 8.7 percent per year, a faster rate of growth than under any previous president since John F. Kennedy.(2) Since 1989 Bush has also run up bigger deficits, both in dollars and as a percentage of GDP, than any other post-World War II president. If massive growth of government and multi-billion-dollar deficits were the solution to America's eco-nomic problems, the nation would be basking in unprecedented prosperity, and Bush would be widely acclaimed as an economic miracle worker.
Despite the fact that the Republicans control the White House, the House of Representatives, and 30 governorships, the nation is now in the midst of the biggest government spending spree since LBJ. Incredibly, the domestic social welfare budget has expanded more in just two years ($96 billion) under George W. Bush than in Bill Clinton's first six years in office ($51 billion).
The Humor Section:
The election is coming
If the sheeple demand spending increases of 8%/year (and if Congress is stupid enough to do an Rx benefit, it'll be a lot more than 8%), then taxes have to go up-fast.
Anyone who campaigns for "tax cuts" because you "deserve it", while also campaigning for more and bigger government programs is both a fool and a liar.
In other words, the main unifying and vote-getting issue of the GOP, which brought it out of the wilderness, elected Ronald Reagan, captured the Congress in 1994-is over.
But seriously, if the GOP is going to grow the Federal government faster than Clinton, why should we care who wins the majority? Here in NH, all the candidates for governor run ads which have 2 halves-first, how much they will cut taxes, second, how many new programs they will "give".
I mean, c'mon, there must be some limit to mass stupidity, mustn't there?
President George W. Bush - Biography
"George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. Formerly the 46th Governor of the State of Texas, President Bush has earned a reputation as a compassionate conservative who shapes policy based on the principles of limited government,..."
"Not over my dead body will they raise your taxes,"
George W. Bush - SOURCE.
More "Limited Government" by Bush.
Yes, He Really Said This - "The problem is, some of the folks in Washington are used to spending orgies,'' Bush told a crowd packed shoulder to shoulder in steamy aircraft hanger. ``Those days are over. We're going to bring some fiscal sanity to the budget."
More Limited Government
Now do you know why, despite our system of "checks and balances," few in positions of power are ever held accountable for misbehavior, misdeeds, high crimes and misdemeanors?
Perhaps now GOP conservatives understand why they are increasingly frustrated, disappointed and disenfranchised with the "Grand Ol' Party?" In reality, there isn't much difference between them and liberal Democrats each spend freely, limit personal freedom and derail liberty.
Is it any wonder why lawmakers refuse to hold agency heads responsible for their failures even failures as deadly and serious as Waco, Oklahoma City and 9-11? Who can prosecute a member of "the club?"
The fact is, regardless of the stated "political philosophy" of any given administration, nothing really ever changes in Washington, D.C. And it's because many of the most powerful people in our government are nothing more than recycled public servants.
It's The Elite Who Are Corrupt
"So the individuals who occupy these 7,000 positions of power are the elite who run the country. Therefore, it is the character of these members of the elite that will determine the character of the country. What you see in government policies, in cultural products and in education policies are the direct result of the decisions made by this relatively small elite.
History affirms this. The reason America did not follow the usual path of revolution to dictatorship was solely the result of the character of one man, George Washington. Washington could have easily made himself dictator, and many of the officers in his army wanted him to do just that. But Washington's character would not allow it.
When the elite who run a country have good morals and high standards, then you have a good country. If the elite become corrupt, you have a corrupt country. The vulgarity, profanity and violence you see in entertainment are there only because those individuals occupying the positions of power in the entertainment industry said "Yes." If they said "No," those things would disappear from the screens and the magazine racks.
Our problem is that most of our elite have become corrupted. Many are nihilistic and hedonistic. The leadership of a country always leads the masses, and they can lead them to high ground or into the swamps. And there's not much I can see that ordinary people can do about it."
"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets."
New Study on Antiterror Spending Is Fodder for Rival Camps - September 6, 2002
"Brian M. Riedl, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative research group, said the four fiscal years through 2003 were on track to be one of the periods of the highest spending in American history and that there was so far little political pressure to curb spending on either national security or social programs.
"Republicans and Democrats basically make a deal with each other `I'll vote for your increase if you'll vote for my increase,"' Mr. Riedl said. "As long as voters don't seem intent on punishing politicians for budget deficits, both parties feel they are in the clear."
Bush makes government more limited, Americans love socialism. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum keeps their hearts thumping for more
Limiting government with "paid" volunteers. Huh?
To: Kobyashi1942 Kobayashi wrote: "When all my Republican friends are crying in their milk on the day after the election I will remind them that there wasn't a dimes worth of difference between the winner, Gore and the neo-socialist G.W. Bush. " And when Gore appoints three Supreme Court Justices who will continue to devalue life and federalize more and more government, I will remind you that there WAS a difference between Bush and Gore. 6 Posted on 09/06/2000 08:17:29 PDT by sinkspur [ Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | Top | Last ]
Now that Bush has shown he would do the same even before he gets a chance to appoint anyone to the Supreme Court, this will be forgotten, I suppose.
On another issue, did you see this?
I wondered for many years and then the answer came to me about ten years ago. Republicans "buy" votes too.
George W. Bush and the GOP, working towards limited government
I mean, come on... Were giving Egypt ten point three BILLION dollars? Sheesh! A billion here, a billion there. Pretty soon you start talking about some real money.
I got kids in them there G-schools and you would be surprised what passes for history these days.
More is taught about America's place in the World Commune(ity) than our own history. When our own history is taught it is about slavery and the stealing of Texas, etc.
Such tripe as this exercise is taught, "Imagine your a girl in India. Describe what you would wear and what you would eat. Extra points will be given to all children who bring food that is eaten in India."
Keep the truck off the sidewalk and it wouldn't happen.
The government's War on Business - "Democrats are demanding something just short of summary executions, while Republicans and President George W. Bush are trying to outdo the Democrats in their anti-business rhetoric"
On the other hand if we have a shadow Gov't then the guys, behind the gals, behind the gays, behind the guys will continue giving us Doles, Bush's x 2, and (lol) Gore's to vote for.
I can hear them laughing as I write this. Maybe Ron Popille can invent a rebellion thats not so bloody and gory. That is if you can find someone willing to stop watching Opreh long enough to fight the good fight, whatever that is.
If there were a rebellion "we'd/They'd" propably kill the wrong people anyway and the whole thing would start all over again. Because one thing is for certain, to me. The movie "Matrix" was right on. Reality, maybe is not it's all up to be.
"The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense' -Tom Clancy
The Return of Big Government
Federal spending is skyrocketing, but shockingly little of it is related to Sept. 11.
Monday, September 2, 2002
By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
In wartime, as everyone knows, federal spending must go up. The aftermath of Sept. 11 is no different. The U.S. needed to rout al Qaeda from Afghanistan, tighten airport and border security, and heighten its defenses against terrorism. That took gobs of money, so no one begrudges the recent surge in outlays. It's all for a good cause.
Except it isn't. Spending is skyrocketing, but shockingly little of it is related to the Sept. 11 attacks. Budget experts say that only about a third of the additional spending this year can be attributed to the war on terror. The rest is testament to a fact that predates Sept. 11: The era of big government has returned.
Of the programs that Congress and the President control directly, spending is up a whopping 13.9% this fiscal year. And that's not a new phenomenon. Soon after Bill Clinton declared, "The era of big government is over" in 1996, expenditures started to zoom. Such spending is rising so briskly that, for the first time since the late 1960s, annually appropriated programs have been growing faster than formula-driven entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
Sept. 11 is merely a blip in that trajectory. Despite all the hoopla, only about $30 billion has been spent on homeland security and national defense programs directly related to the antiterror campaign. About $10 billion of that went to the fight in Afghanistan and $20 billion to rebuild New York City, prevent bioterrorism, improve transportation security, and the like. Overall, however, Uncle Sam has spewed out an extra $91 billion in appropriated funds this fiscal year for matters that range from highway construction to medical research.
In other words, the war on terror is being used as a ruse to justify all sorts of spending. President Bush lifted the veil on this deception by withholding $5.1 billion in extraneous expenditures that were buried in a homeland defense bill. But analysts worry that the pattern will become a fixture. Says Bob Bixby of the Concord Coalition, a fiscal watchdog group: "Packaging all manner of spending under the banner of homeland security will become a permanent addition."
Then again, lawmakers don't need much prodding to spend more. Nondefense spending has been increasing so rapidly lately that 2000-03 would still represent the largest four-year spending spree in a generation even if military expenditures hadn't gone up a penny. During that period farm subsidies doubled; unemployment compensation and health programs (other than Medicare and Medicaid) jumped 50%; education outlays rose by a third.
A lot has changed since 1998, when economic boom times created the first federal annual budget surplus since 1969. For four fat years lawmakers got used to spending what they pleased. A mere year ago, in fact, Bush confidently predicted $5.6 trillion in budget surpluses over the next decade and settled for a $1.35 trillion tax cut. But the economic slowdown changed all that. Today Bush will struggle to keep the tax relief he won. Fiscal 2002 will probably post a deficit near $165 billion.
A few shekels of deficit spending isn't necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, the sagging GDP could use some Keynesian stimulation. But so much? In February, Bush asked Congress to hold non-homeland security, non-Pentagon spending to 2% growth next fiscal year. But by May he had signed the most expensive farm subsidy bill in history--$190 billion over ten years. And that after proposing a 4% reduction in agriculture subsidies last year!
Ever since Ronald Reagan's war against government in the 1980s, every President has talked big about making government small. Bush is no exception. In August he told reporters, "It is important for this country to be fiscally disciplined as our economy begins to recover." But federal spending has risen every year since 1965--including under Reagan--and no sane person is predicting that trend will end.
The new emphasis on homeland security will make sure of that. Bush contends that the Department of Homeland Security won't make government larger. But almost no one believes him. He will combine 22 agencies and 170,000 workers to create the most massive new bureaucracy since the Defense Department was created in 1947.
Corporations are rushing to cash in. Since the office of Homeland Security started fielding business propositions last October, more than 1,000 companies have pitched ideas, some of them very strange. One firm wanted to fit every commercial airline seat with metal straps that could ensnare potential hijackers. Another proposed to teach our enemies transcendental meditation in order to calm them down. They didn't make the cut.
But others will, and businesses are gearing up to sell into this multibillion-dollar market. Deloitte Consulting estimates that homeland security programs at the federal level could exceed $30 billion a year.
Will the President allow things to get that far out of hand? Bush has wielded his veto authority less than any President since Franklin Roosevelt; in fact, he hasn't used it at all. White House aides promise that he will--and soon--to force Congress to pare its profligacy. But few think he'll make a dent in the big-government boom.
Bush is a big part of the problem, not the solution
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.