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Author Topic: Conservatism R.I.P
David Ricardo
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The Carpetbagger comments on the death of conservatism, so I don't have to sound like a broken record:

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/5255.html

quote:
We've all heard rumors that conservatism, as a governing philosophy, was on life support. Under Bush, as the federal government embraced massive deficits, a stronger federal role in education, an expansion of Medicare, a stronger federal role in law enforcement (the Patriot Act), and the most bloated, pork-laden transportation bill anyone's ever seen, "conservatism" was just about a goner.

But I didn't believe it was really dead until this morning, when I saw Tom DeLay tell Rev. Moon's Washington Times that the federal government's massive budget is now waste-free.

quote:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

Mr. DeLay was defending Republicans' choice to borrow money and add to this year's expected $331 billion deficit to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief. Some Republicans have said Congress should make cuts in other areas, but Mr. DeLay said that doesn't seem possible.

"My answer to those that want to offset the spending is sure, bring me the offsets, I'll be glad to do it. But nobody has been able to come up with any yet," the Texas Republican told reporters at his weekly briefing.

Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, "Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we've pared it down pretty good."

There's no indication that he was kidding. Tom DeLay — who has seen federal spending, federal deficits, and the size of the federal government flourish under Republican control — now believes the massive federal budget is just about perfect. No more waste, no more abuse, no more fat to trim.

A few far-right stragglers may still argue that the government should cut spending to help bring the budget back towards balance, but DeLay effectively explained yesterday that this simply can't be done. The Majority Leader has declared "victory."

Someone let me know when the memorial services for conservatism will be held; I'd like to send flowers.

John Cole expands on the bald-faced fiscal hypocrisy with respect to the recently passed Republican pork orgy known as the transportation bill and energy bill, so I don't have to waste my breath:

http://www.redstate.org/story/2005/9/14/154523/164

quote:
Tom Delay: "Government Isn't Fat, It is Just Big-Boned."

quote:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

Mr. DeLay was defending Republicans' choice to borrow money and add to this year's expected $331 billion deficit to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief. Some Republicans have said Congress should make cuts in other areas, but Mr. DeLay said that doesn't seem possible

"My answer to those that want to offset the spending is sure, bring me the offsets, I'll be glad to do it. But nobody has been able to come up with any yet," the Texas Republican told reporters at his weekly briefing.

Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, "Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we've pared it down pretty good."

Congress has passed two hurricane relief bills totaling $62.3 billion, all of which will be added to the deficit.

History may show that there have been significant victories for conservatives and the Republican party in the previous 11 years, but as Adam C has ably demonstrated on these pages, fiscal discipline is sorely missing from both parties in Washington:

quote:
On Friday, the Senate passed a slew of major bills. Looking specificially at the Transportation Bill and Energy Bill it is clear that despite the well-earned reputation of fiscal conservatism, Republicans seem determined to match or surpass the 1960-1980s Democrats on pork barrel politics. In the Senate, the Transportation Bill and the Energy Bill passed by lopsided votes of 91-4 and 76-24. The only silver lining, if it can be called that, is that Democrats generally joined in on the pork barreling thus giving up the chance of winning over good government, anti-pork moderates that put Republicans in power in the 1994 revolution.

In this sad reflection on why Republicans have turned their backs on their original Contract With America to embrace Democratic-style porking...

Ambitious readers can themselves do a short inquiry (this graphic is illustrative of a certain trend) into the direction of spending in recent years, when the Republican party has been in firm control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, and draw their own conclusions about whether or not the budget can be 'pared' down anymore, because I know I have come to my own conclusion. However, it is unnecessary to look at the big picture, when we need look only to the recently passed Transportation Bill:

quote:
Members of the Senate Transportation/Treasury Appropriations subcommittee paved the way for another year of reckless spending by adding 874 pork projects totaling $1.28 billion in the fiscal 2006 Senate Transportation, Treasury, Judiciary, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act. Not satisfied with grabbing money for parochial projects, the appropriators also included $5 billion for 18 programs that the president suggested eliminating or reducing. Programs resurrected from the scrap pile of presidential cuts include $150 million for the Revitalization of Severely Distressed Public Housing account (the HOPE VI Program), $25 million for the National Defense Tank Vessel Construction Program, and $24 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Rural Housing and Economic Development.
And who can forget Republican Rep. Don Young's remarks:

quote:
But if this is pork, the Republican behind the House bill says bring it on, with extra fat. Representative Don Young, Alaska's lone member of the House, where he is chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is already known as Mr. Concrete but would like to wear another title as well.

"I'd like to be a little oinker, myself," Mr. Young told a Republican lunch crowd here, taking mock offense at the suggestion that Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, directs more pork to their state than he does. "If he's the chief porker, I'm upset."




[ September 15, 2005, 02:48 AM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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