The GOP Budget

by Don Boudreaux on February 16, 2006

in Politics

Ryan Young nicely summarizes the sorry state of budgetary affairs under Bush II and the GOP-controlled Congress.  Here’s a sample:

Senators Coburn and McCain have pledged to offer amendments to individually eliminate every earmark they find. With 13,999 earmarks passed last year, the Senators were right to call their threat potentially “time-consuming.”

A reasonable guess is that (a) some compromise will be reached and (b) earmarks will be cut in half — at least — for fiscal year 2007.

That’s good news, but earmarks account for less than 1 percent of total government spending. Even if they were to disappear completely, government would still continue to grow three times faster than it did under Bill Clinton, and more than twice as fast as under the first President Bush.

Why do self-styled “progressives” hate Bush II so intensely?  It can’t be because he’s not feeding the state that these ‘progressives’ so cherish and trust.  Why do so many conservatives admire Bush II?  It can’t be because of his commitment to smaller government.  He clearly has no such commitment.

If the period from November 1994 through now doesn’t convince you that politics is driven overwhelmingly by special-interest groups in league with unprincipled, power-lusting politicians, you’re a hopeless romantic — or, worse: you’re willfully blind.

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Keith February 16, 2006 at 1:23 pm

"Why do self-styled "progressive" hate Bush II so intensely?"

I think its simply because "we" aren't in charge. It doesn't matter if "they" are doing almost exactly the same thing that "we" would do.

Its like whenever you talk to somebody who thinks the public schools need to be "fixed", but are against any sort of competition in education. If only "I" was in charge of the existing system, then everything would be fine.

mark February 16, 2006 at 6:56 pm

Two humble questions:

Why do you use scare quotes for the word "progressive", but not for the word "conservative"?

What is your definition of the term "special interest group"?

ptm February 17, 2006 at 1:29 pm

"Why do self-styled "progressives" hate Bush II so intensely? It can't be because he's not feeding the state that these 'progressives' so cherish and trust. "

Come on.

Liberals generally don't think that all government spending is good. Effective spending to help people lead better lives is generally a good thing. Subsidizing the rich and powerful generally isn't. This administration (and Congress) do more of the latter than the former.

Noah Yetter February 17, 2006 at 1:54 pm

ptm, /Government/ does more of the latter than the former, regardless of the party in power. This is the fundamental nature of political power.

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