With the recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the GOP has both barrels loaded to shoot themselves in the foot. The GOP has stated that much of the bill is irresponsible, mainly because corporate America and the rich didn’t get all the perks. The GOP continues to repeat their tired line, “the bill is full of pork” which is another great lie. Of course, lies and distraction from the truth are the GOP way. They must miss George and Dick.
I find it insulting that Republicans would actually have the nerve to call anyone fiscally irresponsible. After all, Bush and the GOP Congress were on a spending spree for six years, and look where that took us. In fact under the Bush administration spending exceeded all U.S. presidents. I guess it hasn’t dawned on them that we can read and we are paying attention now.
This news is far from new, in 2005 the CATO Institute published “The Grand Old Spending Party: How Republicans Became Big Spenders”
- President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn’t cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.
- Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush’s first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton’s last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush’s first term.
- The Republican Congress has enthusiastically assisted the budget bloat. Inflation-adjusted spending on the combined budgets of the 101 largest programs they vowed to eliminate in 1995 has grown by 27 percent.
- The GOP was once effective at controlling nondefense spending. The final nondefense budgets under Clinton were a combined $57 billion smaller than what he proposed from 1996 to 2001. Under Bush, Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs. Bush signed every one of those bills during his first term. Even if Congress passes Bush’s new budget exactly as proposed, not a single cabinet-level agency will be smaller than when Bush assumed office.
- Republicans could reform the budget rules that stack the deck in favor of more spending. Unfortunately, senior House Republicans are fighting the changes. The GOP establishment in Washington today has become a defender of big government.
Priceless…… And, in October 2006, the Democratic Policy Committee released the following report:
THE GOP RECORD OF FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY
Bush Republicans turned record surpluses into record deficits just before the retirement of the baby boom generation. President Bush inherited a unified budget surplus of $236 billion from President Clinton, the largest surplus in American history. When President Bush took office in 2001, budget surpluses were expected to continue for at least another ten years, and were projected to total $5.6 trillion between Fiscal Years 2002 and 2011. (President Bush’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2002, “A Blueprint for New Beginnings,” 2/28/01) By 2002, however, the unified federal budget had returned to a deficit of $158 billion, and the unified deficit has reached historically high levels ever since:
- 2003: -$378 billion (2nd largest deficit in U.S. history)
- 2004: -$413 billion (largest deficit in U.S. history)
- 2005: –$318 billion (3rd largest deficit in U.S. history)
- 2006: –$248 billion (7th largest deficit in U.S. history)
With the help of the Republican-controlled Congress, President Bush oversaw three consecutive years of unified budget deficits larger than those in any previous Presidency. Even though the economy is well into a recovery, the $248 billion 2006 deficit remains among the largest in American history. (Office of Management and Budget; Congressional Budget Office). The decision to continue running large deficits is especially irresponsible given the impending retirement of the baby boom generation.
Federal debt has exploded on the Republican watch. At the end of 2001, the year the Bush Administration took office, gross debt was $5.8 trillion. Today, gross debt totals $8.5 trillion. By the end of 2011, the debt is projected to soar to $11.6 trillion.
As borrowing has exploded, the United States has become increasingly reliant on foreigners to buy our debt and finance our deficits. It took 42 presidents 224 years to run up a trillion dollars of external debt. Incredibly, this president more than doubled that amount in just five years, increasing foreign-held debt by another $1.1 trillion. Last year, the United States was responsible for 65 percent of world borrowing, dramatically more than any other nation.
Bravo Congressional Republicans you are the voice of fiscal responsibility!
As for accountability, a concept lost on the GOP, for all that so called pork, the White House has launched a new web page Recovery.gov so we can see where the recovery money is actually going. The web site actually states accountability and transparency. In a nut shell:
So, there you have it, the Republican version of fiscal responsibility in their parallax universe.