by John Hawkins | March 14, 2006 8:10 am
“Arlen Specter apparently has been reading a little too much of Tom DeLay’s press releases. He told the press that Congress is now “beyond cutting the fat and beyond the bone. We’re down to the marrow.” Specter wants to introduce more expansion in health care, education, and worker safety (by “billions of dollars above the president’s request”) along with the higher spending on security issues.
Let’s look at that fat/meat/bone/marrow analogy a little closer, shall we? The Heritage Foundation has the numbers which make that assertion look entirely asinine. The federal budget has escalated from $1.46T in 1994, when the GOP first came to power in the House, to an estimated $2.77T for this year, almost double in spending. Discretionary spending in that period has increased from $541B to $969B, and even in 2001 only came to $649B. That means that discretionary spending has increased almost 50% in the time when the GOP controlled both the House and the White House.
Did that spending go to defending the nation? Some of it did. Between 2001 and 2006, defense and security spending rose $231B, a 76% increase, but defense is hardly alone. One of Specter’s priorities, education, increased a whopping 137% in the same period. Medicare rose 58% and Medicaid 49%. Health research went up 78%. Unemployment benefits increased 27% in a period where unemployment has actually dropped from 2001 levels.
This is the marrow? What would we have seen without the cuts that Specter and others decry so bitterly? In fact, what these politicians criticize as cuts are in reality a lower rate of expansion than they would like. Only a lunatic or a politician could possibly look at these numbers and talk about having cut the federal budget to the meat, bone, or marrow…” — Captain’s Quarters
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