One Party Rule and Runaway Spending

We now have Republicans downticket effectively throwing John McCain over the side, arguing that with Obama likely to win the Presidency voters should be reluctant to give spending power to that group of big spenders led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. The argument now goes that we need the fiscal restraint offered by Republicans to overcome the Democratic desire to spend. I guess the people making the argument think everyone has forgotten that we had one party rule for five years of the Bush administration, and we must go back to the Great Society of L.B.J. to see such profilgate spending. Lets look at some real numbers from the Republican free market website Reason Online:

Total real discretionary outlays will increase about 35.8 percent under Bush (FY2001-06) while they increased by 25.2 percent under LBJ (FY1964-69) and 11.9 percent under Reagan (FY1981-86). By contrast, they decreased by 16.5 under Nixon (FY1969-74) and by 8.2 percent under Clinton (FY1993-98). Comparing Bush to his predecessors is instructive. Bush and Reagan both substantially increased defense spending (by 44.5 and 34.8 percent respectively). However, Reagan cut real nondefense discretionary outlays by 11.1 percent while Bush increased them by 27.9 percent. Clinton and Nixon both raised nondefense spending (by 1.9 percent and 23.1 respectively), but they both cut defense spending substantially (by 16.8 and 32.2 percent).

And when President Bush suggested that large increases in federal spending for disaster relief be offset by reductions in standard pork the fellows we are now supposed to rely on to “control” the Dems gave their response:

Bush and LBJ alone massively increased defense and nondefense spending. Perhaps not coincidentally, Bush and LBJ also shared control of the federal purse with congressional majorities from their own political parties. Which only makes Bush’s performance more troubling. Like a lax parent who can’t or won’t discipline his self-centered toddler, he has exercised virtually no control whatsoever over Congress. In the wake of massive new funding for the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Bush did timidly suggest that some of the new money be matched by reductions in pork projects embedded in the just-passed transportation bill. The Republican response to such efforts is summed up by Alaska Rep. Don Young’s reply to critics of a $223 million “bridge to nowhere” in Ketchikan. Proponents of budgetary “offsets” can “kiss my ear,” Young told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, adding that paying for Katrina-related measures by trimming transportation pork is “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Some of the greatest runups in federal spending have occurred during one party Republican rule, and we are now to believe that the Republicans are the “fiscal watchdogs”? It is interesting that the Bush numbers remain at the top even if you take out his huge increases in defense spending. And it is also notable that Bush, like L.B.J., believed that you could have guns and butter, and just borrow the money to make sure Americans did not feel the pinch of rising taxes to support the massive Republican spending increases. So Reid, Pelosi and Obama are the new spending axis of evil? What does that make Lott, Hastert, and Bush?

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6 Responses to One Party Rule and Runaway Spending

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,
    I don’t praise the Republican party. I am ashamed of their performance, and have said so in this blog. The Republicans have made their corrupt bed and are getting ready to sleep in it.

    Their sin? Failing to follow their conservative ideals.

    On the verge of success why do you lay this BS on us? If you follow history back, there is enough stuff, good and bad, to make any case you want.

    The problem, your honor, is the impending socialistic horror I see coming up with Obama’s win.

    I would like to talk about that, especially in view of the recent revalations.

    He wants to change the nature of the Constitution and put the weight of government onto our shoulders.

    Jules

    Like

  2. Jules Gordon says:

    Your onor,

    I paste in your comment as follow, “Some of the greatest runups in federal spending have occurred during one party Republican rule, and we are now to believe that the Republicans are the “fiscal watchdogss”.

    I presume your think then, the present Massachusetts super majority model (dissapearing residents, propr #1, and a 1.5 billion dollar bet for 6 million citizen) is te solution of the next four years?

    Let’s talk about this. (No Ayers)

    Jules

    Like

  3. Derek Jackson says:

    Change the nature of the Constitution? You mean stuff like imprisoning people without trial, attacking a sovereign nation with a declaration of war, introducing searches without warrants, closing meetings to the public, claiming executive immunity, creating watch lists that put innocent people on them, and authorizing torture?

    Obama is going to have to raise taxes, no matter who gets in is going to have to raise them, the deficit is insanely high. I just wish they could make some sort of targeted tax that goes after bank CEOs, war profiteers, and politicians.

    I don’t believe Obama is our answer to the future. But I will take him over McCain and the Diva.

    Most important of all: can somebody explain to me the logic of spending $600 million for a job that pays $400,000 a year? The system is broken, and I don’t see anybody fixing it anytime soon, Republican or Democrat.

    Like

  4. Bill Manzi says:

    Jules,
    I think that the Massachusetts model has problems that cannot be denied. But when I look at the difference between Bush and Clinton at the federal level I shake my head in amazement. The numbers posted are amazing, and run counter to your argument that nationally Democrats have been the spendthrift party. Clinton is the only President in recent memory to balance the federal budget.
    As far as Massachusetts Dems sometimes they are afflicted by the same spending and deficit disease that Congress apparently has. But the focus of much of your criticism, Governor Patrick, has cut the budget in response to the fiscal problems we now face. He did not seek to raise taxes. And yet you give him no credit for that, but simply repeat Republican talking points that we can’t trust the Governor on fiscal policy because he is a “big spending Democrat”. Your praise and criticism need to be more balanced.

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  5. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    You are correct in that Clinton did have a budget surplus. On the other hand, he took a cowardly approach when it came to dealing with an ever increasingly dangerous world. Clinton’s solution was to bomb a asprin factory (a metiphor). I believe this war at 30,000 feet has encouraged our enemies to think about attacking us world wide, including New York City.

    It was left up to George Bush to face the real problem.

    You really have chutzpah to think Patrick cut spending and did not increase taxes because of good fiscal management. He could not in the face of Proposition #1. Just like the police detail lie he’s pulled off.

    Considering the fact I am writting to a “Lefty Blog” that you proudly declared on a couple of occasions so I don’t have to be any more balanced than you.

    Summary: This single party state is a financial basket case and there is no one else you can blame. So my argument is an Obama win along with super majority will result in the same thing as the Democrats will pass long sought bills for universal health care, shifting of 401 to social security and the horror that will bring plus stacking the court with “sensative” judges that will change the nature of the constitution.

    It will be worse that Massachusetts times 57.

    A note regarding your last sentence. Deval Patric complained about a five hundred million deficit facing the Romney budget during the gubinatorial race.

    Romney cut that much out of the budget.

    Patrick added it back in then sought billions for his projects. THAT is how we got here in Massachusetts. You are right, we cannot trust the Governor’s fiscal policy. Once past the election and free of prop #1 watch him go.

    Note: Inever said the other party could resolve the problems any better. I just think we will keep our constitution as intended.

    Jules

    Like

  6. ben nevis says:

    Derek, the logic in spending $600 million is to acquire POWER. As with public office at any level it’s not the salary or public service, it’s all about power and control. Service is priority #3.

    Like

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