Excerpt Of The Day: The GOP Is Selling Its Soul On Spending

“Republicans took over Congress in 1994 promising in the “Contract with America” to cut taxes, reduce federal spending and eliminate unneeded bureaucracy. They’ve used the same message to retain majorities in both chambers for all but a couple of the succeeding years.

Despite the GOP majority and its promises, federal spending – including wasteful pork barrel projects – has skyrocketed to record levels, especially as President Bush won the White House in 2000, the GOP kept the House and regained the Senate in 2002 and Bush gained re-election in 2004.

Federal outlays are going up so fast that in 2004 for the first time since World War II Washington spent more than $21,000 per household but collected only about $18,000 in revenue, causing budget deficits to explode. The rate of increase in spending was faster only during the “guns and butter” era of the Vietnam War and LBJ’s Great Society programs, according to figures compiled by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Simply put, the GOP majority has been spending federal tax dollars like drunken sailors since 2001, increasing outlays by an average of 7.25 percent annually. Inflation increased by a mere 2.0 percent average in those same years.

Bush has basically stepped aside, not once exercising his veto, compared to 78 vetoes by Reagan, who had to deal with powerful Democrat majorities in the House throughout his White House years.

Having a president who won’t veto unleashes the big spenders. That transportation bill that Bush accepted and Young stuffed contained more than 6,500 “earmarks’ – i.e. pork barrel projects. Reagan vetoed a 1987 transportation bill with a mere 152 projects.

….Reagan expressed the GOP’s soul when he said “it is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people.” Progress was slow and sometimes reversed, but Reagan kept up the pressure.

Reagan’s GOP heirs are wasting his legacy.” — Mark Tapscott

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