Saturday, January 09, 2010

We Must Dump the Republican Baggage

I'm sorry if the truth hurts, but the Republicans must own up to this, so they can then dump it and change course. IF they want their credibility back.

Karl Rove’s Hypocritical Call for Fiscal Rectitude
[...] I’m a big fan of condemning Obama’s big-government schemes, but Rove is the last person in the world who should be complaining about too much wasteful spending. After all, he was the top adviser to President Bush and the federal budget exploded during Bush’s eight years, climbing from $1.8 trillion to more than $3.5 trillion. More specifically, Rove was a leading proponent of the proposals that dramatically expanded the size and scope of the federal government, including the no-bureaucrat-left-behind education bill, the two corrupt farm bills, the two pork-filled transportation bills, and the grossly irresponsible new Medicare entitlement program.

Not surprisingly, Rove even tries to blame Obama for some of Bush’s overspending, writing that “…discretionary domestic spending now stands at $536 billion, up nearly 24% from President George W. Bush’s last full year budget in fiscal 2008 of $433.6 billion. That’s a huge spending surge, even for a profligate liberal like Mr. Obama.” This passage leads the reader to assume that Obama should be blamed for what happened in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, but as I’ve already explained, the 2009 fiscal year started about four months before Obama took office and 96 percent of the spending can be attributed to Bush’s fiscal profligacy. Yes, Obama is now making a bad situation worse by further increasing spending, but he should be criticized for continuing Bush’s mistakes.

Rove then has the gall to complain that Obama is “…growing the federal government’s share of GDP from its historic post-World War II average of roughly 20% to the target Mr. Obama laid out in his budget blueprint last February of 24%.” Yet a quick look at the budget data shows that the burden of federal spending jumped from 18.4 percent of GDP when Bush took office to more than 25 percent of economic output when he left office. Even if the (hopefully) temporary bailout costs are not counted, Bush and Rove are the ones who deserve most of the blame for today’s much larger burden of government. It should be noted, by the way, that none of the new spending under Bush was imposed over his objection. He did not veto any legislation because of excessive spending. [...]

Read the whole thing, for the embedded links.

In 2000, for the first time since I became and eligible voter, I did not vote in the presidential election. Both choices seemed equally awful. I'm sure I was not the only one who felt that way, which is why I think the election was so close.

In 2004, I nearly didn't vote again, for the reasons mentioned in the above article. But John Kerry seemed possibly worse, so I held my nose and voted for George Bush. I hoped, in vain, that W would embrace fiscal conservatism. It was not to be.

Republicans really need to dump this baggage they've collected. If they hang on to it, I'm not sure I can be bothered to vote anymore.

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