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.