Monday, September 18, 2006

Real Fiscal Conservatives Have No Choice But Dems

Sure they are nice people, and they've served Connecticut to the best of their abilities, but Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons have failed to do what Republicans should be doing, namely practice fiscal conservatism. There's no excuse for the spending spree that these Republicans have allowed to pass through, unchecked, unchallenged and uninvestigated. These three Republicans are the weak kneed three, voting for spending over prudence.

And those tax cuts? While the Bush administration promised tax cuts, what they delivered was the tax shell game. If you make your income in capital gains, you are in good shape. But if you own property in Connecticut then your tax savings on the federal level were replaced by your state and property taxes. And if you earned a wage for your main income, well then that tax cut really wasn't for you now, was it?

So how bad is it for those fiscal conservative values? Milton Friedman, noted economist:

"I'm disgusted by it," the winner of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences told The Washington Times recently.
"For the first time in many years, the Republicans have control of Congress. But once in power, the spending limits were off and it's disgraceful because they went against their principles."
Federal spending as a share of the entire economy was 18.4 percent when Mr. Bush took office in 2001. Since then, the government's annual spending levels have grown by $610 billion or to 20.2 percent of the economy, according to figures compiled by the Heritage Foundation.

The Cato Institute isn't too happy either:
Congress has failed to contain the administration's overspending and has added new spending of its own. Republicans have clearly forfeited any claim of being the fiscally responsible party in Washington. Executive Summary

And even the Wall Street journal Editorial Page has had enough:

Steve Moore of the Club for Growth calls this bill a pork-laden monstrosity worse than any ever produced when Congress was controlled by "tax-and-spend" liberals Drunken GOP Sailors Even Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress didn't spend like this.

We've had 6 years of Republican control of spending in Congress and it just keeps getting worse. After winning the cold war by watching the "strong on defense" Soviet Politburo mismanage government and spend their super power into bankruptcy, don't we know how this failure in fiscal accountability will end? There is no defense for how this Republican congress has abdicated their responsibilities foremost as legislators holding the executive branch accountable, but more direly that they abdicated the one thing that defined what conservatism stood for. It would be absurd for any true fiscal conservative to vote any one of the weak kneed three back to office.

Washington Times, Economist slams GOP spending levels, By Donald Lambro, December 8, 2005.
The Republican Spending Explosion by Veronique de Rugy, Cato Institute.


Anonymous said...

Turfgirl, voting against the R members of congress for Democrats over spending issues would be like jumping out of a lifeboat because you thought it was too wet

Conservative Democrat said...

turf, I usually agree with most of your posts - that's a scary thought. And you are right that Republican spending is out of control. However, do you seriously think that it will be any different if there is a Democratic majority? Honestly - there will be unnecessary spending no matter who is in charge in DC.

Anonymous said...

This highlights just one of many areas the current where Congress has not held the President accountable.

One of the positives with a republican majority should be fiscal responsibility.

It's shameful the way this house and senate has actually voted to increase the amount of debt we carry to continue record-breaking spending.

I think the term balanced budget needs a resurgence. When issues like this are in the media voters favor change.

Anonymous said...

How opportune for democrats. Its a load of BS of course. I have never seen a democrat who turned down a chance to spend or expand the government. At least the Republicans doing it now are doing it for defense, not the welfare state.

GMR said...

While the Bush administration promised tax cuts, what they delivered was the tax shell game. If you make your income in capital gains, you are in good shape. But if you own property in Connecticut then your tax savings on the federal level were replaced by your state and property taxes. And if you earned a wage for your main income, well then that tax cut really wasn't for you now, was it?

I agree that the Republicans have let federal spending get out of control, although it seems to me that the Democrats would also like to spend more. Neither side seems to have spending restraint.

However, I am a bit confused by your statements on tax policy. First, I don't think the income tax brackets in Connecticut have changed much in the past six years. Second, property tax is decided on the local level. Some municipalities have seen huge increases, mainly due to school construction costs and pension costs. But not every municipality has radically increased property taxes.

Finally, I fail to see how you can say that taxes on wages haven't come down. A new 10% bracket was introduced, and then all of the brackets except the 15% bracket were reduced (the 15% bracket was essentially reduced through the introduction of the 10% bracket). So if you paid taxes, they went down.

Anonymous said...

Very good points. The Republicans have not lived up to the mantle of fiscal conservatism.

But you better believe it would be 10 times worse if the Democrats were in office.

: JustaDog said...

The big difference will be Democrats will surely raise your taxes!

Anonymous said...

Preach on sister. For all the sniping that can go on here sometimes, CTLP still kicks ass.

Anonymous said...

No matter what the issue, Nancy Johnson will not speak out against the administration. She's a rubber stamp in every sense of the word. Her inability to stand up to the GOP leadership has resulted in ridiculous overspending and the largest deficit in our nation's history. So much for fiscal responsibility...

common sense over partisan politics said...

turfgrrl - my, oh, my.

You are amazing.

Tell me, is the strategy to throw everything up against the wall and hope that it sticks? This is so absurd, I almost wish you would go back to talking about turned over lawn signs and Norwalk sewers.

When the Republicans took over control of the House of Representatives in '94 and worked with Pres. Clinton to eliminate the nation's debt, did you give them any credit? No.

When Johnson and Shays voted for the most recent budget, did you and others attack them for mean-spirited "cuts" to vital programs? Yes.

When Johnson and Shays say that they support increasing the child tuition tax credit, a part of the President's tax package, do Murphy and Farrell jump up and down saying no? Of course not, they support the individual tax cuts too. Didn't Murphy just run an ad saying that contrary to Johnson's claim, he actually cut taxes in CT.

Do you honestly want us to believe that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will propose and pass a budget that spends less than the Republicans? Even Nancy Pelosi doesn't believe that, nor does she make that argument.

Pelosi, Murphy, Farrell and the rest of the DCCC candidates will balance our budgets through tax increases and cuts in defense spending. And, oh yea, they will also pander to the incredibly hard working people at Sikorski that they want to cut defense spending but not cut Sikorski contracts. Right!

Please post something that is remotely reasonable next time. I actually thought this was a joke post by one of the Republican posters.

Anonymous said...

Hey turfgrrl, what's next, a story about how fiscal conservatives should vote for John DeStefano?


turfgrrl said...

To all who think Democrats controlling Congress would be worse- It's simple, divided government works. We have 2 years left of the Bush presidency, there's no check on spending now.

Yes, property taxes are municipal, and the largest part of the municipal budget is education. And which administration pushed the education unfunded mandates?

The only way to get to balanced federal budgets is for each party to pin the other's wacky spending pork down. It isn't happening now and it's time for fiscal conservatives to recognize that they are not part of the solution as long as they back reckless Republicans.

There is nothing that Shays, Johnson and Simmons can point to that supports any type of fiscal accountability on this administration.

Bobby McGee said...

Exactly on target. How could a Democratic majority grow the government any more than these republicans have? Instead of a welfare state we have bridges to nowhere and barrels of other pork. Seriously, go over to porkbusters and see for yourself...

Anonymous said...

sure will be more like "veto our spending bill and we convene the impeachment hearings"

Anonymous said...

Let's look at turff's argument, to stop big spending we should elect the party that invented the concept.

(there's no shortage of idiotic pundits in DC buying this scam...notice most are FORMER politicians or consultants...hmmm..)

Maybe I'll go on a a diet by eating Big Macs. It will work just as well.

turfgrrl said...

The non defense spending increases of the Republican Congress:

The federal education bureaucracy has exploded by 101 percent since Republicans started running Congress. Spending in the Justice Department over the same period has shot up 131 percent, the Commerce Department 82 percent, the Department of Health and Human Services 81 percent, the State Department 80 percent, the Department of Transportation 65 percent, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development 59 percent. Incredibly, the four bureaucracies once targeted for elimination by the GOP Congress—Commerce, Energy, Education, and Housing and Urban Development—have enjoyed spending increases of an average of 85 percent. Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country” and member of the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001 Otherwise part of Newt's pack of reformers. Y'all do remember the Gingrich years, right?

Anonymous said...

turff, which one of those program do you favor cutting...when you last posted you lamented inadequate infrastructure funding

(see above :increases Department of Transportation 65 percent, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development 59 percent...this is insufficient as per your earlier posts)

turfgrrl said...

anonymous 11:27: HUD. Transportation, as in Amtrack is underfunded, but those bridges in Alaska were transportation bills, so obviously there's some pork there. I think the point is we need to combat the late-night-insert-some-earmark in an unrelated bill. Care to guess which congress is setting an all time record?

Genghis Conn said...

No, I think Turfgrrl is right about divided government helping to slow spending, at least a little bit.

And the current Congress has absolutely lost control of spending, no doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

last night, Joe Courtney called for a trillion dollar national health care program, a trillion dollar drug benefit and "full funding" for No Child Left Behind.

Oh, and he only supports pulling out of Iraq by the end of 2007, "with the stipulation that the U.S. 'makes sure we are leaving a stable situation behind.'" Uh, OK that'll be next to never.

If that's the "fiscal responsibility" Turfgrrl is looking for, then amen sister.

Anonymous said...

Turr...let's be realistic.

Let's assume there's $100B in pork in the budget

That's less than 5% of the budget. There are large increases in the budget because the programs in general have mission creep. The program cleints also took the position in the late 1990's that they had been shorted funds for a decade to create the federal surplus, and now wanted to make up for lsot money and lost time. The pro-spending momentum was in place when the decade started. You have already said a 59% increase in DOT spending was inadequate, proving my point.

The biggest new spending under Bush was due to the prescription drug program. The Dems would have added over $200B to the program.
Menawhile, your heroes at the Cato Institute would have zeroed it out.

Nancy Pelosi is not a libertarian, and using their complaints to claim she is just doesn;t pass the smell test.

bluecoat said...

$315,833,160,125 and counting in Iraq may have something to do with the spending. and HHS spending is out of control but it isn't all about Medicare D - in fact D might help lower the other costs of Medicare through better prevention...

Anonymous said...

Does everyone forget that the democrats did BALANCE THE BUDGET under Bill Clinton?!

The republicans have had control of everything for years and must accept full blame for our nation debt.

Democrats do not believe in tax cuts while approving record spending and financing a war, the two don't work together.

Republicans have had years to prove their fiscal restraint and have failed miserably.

The only wat to get spending under control is to vote democratic. Yes, democratic!

Anonymous said...

Turfgrrl -

You state, "Yes, property taxes are municipal, and the largest part of the municipal budget is education. And which administration pushed the education unfunded mandates?"

Every member of the CT delegation supported NCLB and I seem to recall seeing Ted Kennedy standing with Bush when it was signed into law. If you are going to lay blame, make sure you lay it everywhere it belongs.

Anonymous said...

10:48 -

While I agree with you to an extent and have been critical of the spedning both here and in DC lest we forget a small event called 9/11. The governement costs from the terrorist attacks, in the 9th month of the Bush presidency, are astronomical.

Anonymous said...

Aonn. 10:48 said: "Does everyone forget that the democrats did BALANCE THE BUDGET under Bill Clinton?!"

How old are you? 14? 16? 18? Or do you just intentionally avoid telling the truth.

Fact: Bill Clinton was President for 8 years from 1992-2000. The Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for only 2 years from 1992-93, while the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives for 6 years of the Clinton Presidency from 1994- present. The deficit was not erased in 2 years - hardly.

It is true that Clinton and the Democrats raised taxes in 1993, and that led to the Contract with America and the Republican victory in 1994. That is how the Democrats under Pelosi would also solve our debt - raise taxes. The Democrats in 1993 did not offer and controls on spending, nor do the Democrats under Pelosi.

Just listen to the debate: Democrats wanted to spend more money on prescription drug program, they want to spend more on education and more on a host of social programs; yet they do not offer any reductions or curns in spending. The earmarks that people are quick to point out are a small fraction of the operating budget and would provide little savings (let's be honest no Congress is going to get rid of all earmarks).

It was the Republican Congress working with President Clinton that passed landmark welfare reform (many Democrats were angered at Clinton and voted against it) and other initiatives that slowed government spending and grew our economy.

Your suggestion is wrong (but I bet you knew that and just didn't care).