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.