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Republican Leaders’ Budget Hypocrisy

Since 2000, the GOP has come nowhere close to conservatism on federal spending.

by
Steve Stanek

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December 21, 2013 - 12:00 am
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The Paul Ryan-Patty Murray federal budget deal amounts to saving two days of federal spending over the next decade.

That’s a sliver of a sliver, and that’s assuming future Congresses follow through on today’s promises. Of course, this rarely happens because no Congress can force a future Congress to do anything.

Federal spending totaled $3.5 trillion in fiscal 2013 and would rise to $3.6 trillion in 2014 (President Barack Obama wants nearly $3.8 trillion of spending), up more than 40 percent since 2002 even after adjusting for inflation. With spending of approximately $3.6 trillion, the government spends approximately $10 billion a day. The Ryan-Murray deal would let discretionary spending rise by $63 billion over the next couple of years. Over the next 10 years they’d cut it to generate a net savings of $22.5 billion.

That totals approximately two days of federal spending, 1/1,825th of federal spending over a decade at current spending rates.

The deal overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives a few days ago, and then passed the Senate. House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican establishment leaders have lashed out at conservatives and Tea Party-types who oppose the deal:

They are not fighting for conservative policy. They are fighting to expand their lists, raise more money and grow their organizations, and they are using you to do it. It’s ridiculous.

For most years since 2002, when federal spending began its 40 percent inflation-adjusted increase, the self-described “compassionate conservative” Republican George W. Bush occupied the White House, and in some of those Bush years Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. Spending under this GOP power climbed much faster than it has under Democrat Barack Obama — though this is due in large part to resistance by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in response to pressure from the Tea Party. In fact, spending under Bush climbed more than under any president since Lyndon Baines Johnson, who bequeathed the nation a huge escalation in the Vietnam War (we lost), Medicare (it’s insolvent), and the War on Poverty (we’ve been losing for decades).

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Top Rated Comments   
If that's true - and I'm not saying it isn't - where are the commensurate cuts in food stamps? Welfare? How about closing the loophole that allows illegal aliens to get child tax credits? How about layers within layers within redundant layers of unneeded and unconstitutional government bureaucracies? How about cuts in congress' pensions? How about the "free" insurance that people on the GS scale get from us? Why not raise the retirement age for government civilians who end up living off of their tax payer funded pensions for longer than they actually "worked"? Why was only the military (the only one of the above actually mandated by the constitution) targeted for cuts - by REPUBLICANS??
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I have posted a number of times on this website, if the Republicans run candidates that are the same as on the other side, why elect them? So we can have the "satisfaction" of being ripped off by Republicans instead of Democrats?. We have gone down this road before from 2001-06 and that GOP majority ran up a huge debt. If the Republican establishment continues to run these same type of candidates out there in 2014, many of us will stay home.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the democrats and the republican establishment were doctors, the democrat doctor would tell someone who drinks 24 beers a night that he needs to cut back to 30, and the republican doctor would say he needs to cut back to 27.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
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Not mentioned in this article is that GWBush was engaged in two wars overseas -- that does not come cheap. Obama has effectively ended the missions, yet he's plunged the U.S. even deeper into debt. I don't think a purely quantitative analysis adequately describes the current situation.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just to further note -- a detailed, qualitative analysis is needed. Take, for example, the Dept of Homeland Security. What was the DHS spending its money on during the Bush years vs today? A judge in Texas recently noted that DHS is spending taxpayer dollars to do the work of Mexican cartels in human trafficking. Ditto for the Obama sycophants throughout Federal departments (eg, the IRS). Hence to say that a previous administration spent X amount of dollars more than Obama is next to useless, unless one knows what "projects" the money has been funding.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
And still, those wars were paid for, a win in hand in when GW left, something we might have had something positive out of in the first place, and at least the government's job at worst.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
That totals approximately two days of federal spending, 1/1,825th of federal spending over a decade…

It’s a bad mistake to do the old divide-by-two routine on our national politics. Come in somewhere halfway between the two parties and you’re a moderate, which by all appearances is a good thing. Ryan and his RINO cohort are fools, all of them, not just the weepy John Boehner and his dopey pal Lindsay.

We’ve operate from spending levels based on a baseline that goes up with every emergency (never waste a good one) and every fiscal year (8%, is our population growing at 8% or is relative spending increased every year by standard operating procedure?).

I read where federal spending has increased by 780% since 1962, in inflation adjusted dollars no less. Has the populated grown 780% since then, or just our relative spending?

And the gall of it all is that much of it, maybe most, is illegal. Compare an org chart of the federal gubmint as it is today to the Enumerated Powers in the Constitution. There’s a clear way out of this mess: return to lawful behavior. Either that, or hold a big-ass constitutional convention and pass some transformative amendments so that we can settle down into a quiet, lawful national life as a loser socialist country.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am sick and tired of the 10-year budget plans. Congress is supposed to do and annual budget, not once a decade.
If they insist, let's see the budget cuts in each of the first 7 years. Move the "revenue enhancements" out to years 8, 9, and 10; and they should only kick in if the actual spending was reduced per the budget.
Another idea would be, if they pass a ten year budget, send the congress home on recess for ten years so they cannot change their mind and raise spending the next years.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
A ten year budget plan lets them get through the next election cycle before they quietly and secretly rewrite and dismantle the whole thing for the politician's benefit, not the citizen taxpayer's.

I think Congress' salary and net worth increases and decreases should be inversely proportional to the increase or decrease of government spending. To get more money, they have to spend less.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, part of the "base" was livid when the Congress recently cut COLAs for military retirees by a measly one percent, and then only for retirees of a certain age, most of whom find other work following their "retirement." If we can't take one percent off an annual COLA--not the pension, mind you, but the COLA--then what realistic chance do we have of cutting spending in a major way? Not much. The sad reality is that Americans like a government that gives them lots of entitlements but doesn't ask us to actually pay for them. We only want the Congress to balance the budget if the cuts fall on "other guys." But then we're all the "other guys," aren't we?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
My circle of acquaintances includes a number of retired veterans, some disabled. They are furious at being singled out for the only cuts. If the cuts had included the civil service drones; they would have taken it a lot better. When your worst career risk of injury is a paper cut, and the worst mental stress you have is Civil Service PTSD from not being invited to the right cocktail party to suck up to the political bosses; you don't deserve preferred treatment.

Subotai Bahadur
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tell that about the measly one percent to the man or woman that spent every day of twenty to thirty years ready on a minutes notice to go get shot at or the ones who have literally given an arm and a leg defending this country.

Yeah, it's only retirees of a certain age...this time. What happens next year when the congress critters blow it again and come back with their hats in their hands saying gee guys we still need a few more bucks, that one percent didn't hurt much last year, how about a little more this time around?

Everyone thinks Military retirement pay is so great. After twenty years the pay is half their highest base pay. After thirty it is three quarters and we sure don't pay the Military nearly what they are worth. Sure, they also get free medical through the VA or a base hospital and they can shop at the PX and maybe a commissary if they live close enough to a base and the commissaries are still open for business. VA care isn't bad but they are for the most part understaffed and overworked in most places. Living close to a base is great if you can find a job there and you sure need a job in order to live on what they give you in retirement pay. Yeah, what's a measly one percent?
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Yeah, it's only retirees of a certain age...this time. What happens next year when the congress critters blow it again and come back with their hats in their hands saying gee guys we still need a few more bucks, that one percent didn't hurt much last year, how about a little more this time around?"

You sit down, shut up, and like it...same as everyone who's going to learn their government pension (Social Security) is only worth around 33 cents on the dollar. I suppose it could go as high as 66 or 70 cent/$, but that's being mighty generous with the good luck.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
If that's true - and I'm not saying it isn't - where are the commensurate cuts in food stamps? Welfare? How about closing the loophole that allows illegal aliens to get child tax credits? How about layers within layers within redundant layers of unneeded and unconstitutional government bureaucracies? How about cuts in congress' pensions? How about the "free" insurance that people on the GS scale get from us? Why not raise the retirement age for government civilians who end up living off of their tax payer funded pensions for longer than they actually "worked"? Why was only the military (the only one of the above actually mandated by the constitution) targeted for cuts - by REPUBLICANS??
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Agreed. And since nobody wants to go first (or go at all), it's going to take across-the-board cuts, no exceptions, repeat, no exceptions for anyone or any one group; it's going to require that everyone and every group be asked to pony up a few bucks in cuts to their benefits, and to pony up a little additional money in increased taxes. If, that is, we're serious about "balancing the budget," which to date we have not been. All that's need is a little bit of courage on the part of the leaders of both parties, and the people who vote for them.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"And since nobody wants to go first (or go at all), it's going to take across-the-board cuts, no exceptions, repeat, no exceptions for anyone or any one group"

I'm thinking you aren't quite getting it. That's not what it's going to "take". People "taking that" is a best case scenario.

The cuts will happen whether people want to take them or not.

The question is will they be planned cuts, or the chaos of a riotously collapsing society. The fall of Rome was far quieter and took far longer, than what the strangling chains of debt will do to our "just in time" society, if we don't unwind them gradually and steadily.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greed>Corruption>Money>Power>Control.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
And then the establishment RINOs run out to the Media and rend their hairshirts crying out in agony that the evil doers have shoveled the military retirees into penury because there is a cut in the COLA rates to take effect in ten years...

What an everlasting gob stopper of a govt do we have!
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I have posted a number of times on this website, if the Republicans run candidates that are the same as on the other side, why elect them? So we can have the "satisfaction" of being ripped off by Republicans instead of Democrats?. We have gone down this road before from 2001-06 and that GOP majority ran up a huge debt. If the Republican establishment continues to run these same type of candidates out there in 2014, many of us will stay home.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not voting on election day is unpatriotic. Please vote. If you despise the Republicrat candidates, and cannot vote 3rd party, write in somebody. If you do not show up to vote, the progressive pollsters will continue to spin the vote in their direction.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not offering viable candidates in opposition is more un patriotic.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since Teddy Roosevelt's presidency, the Republican Party leadership has mostly consisted of progressives. Progressives are neo-Marxists. Like Teddy Roosevelt (TR), they do not believe in freedom for the masses, they do not believe in our Constitution, and they do not believe in our Republic. They believe in an 'enlightened' dictatorship. The only non-progressive Republican presidents since TR have been: Harding, Coolidge, and Reagan (and maybe, Eisenhower). The Bushes, Christie, McCain, Romney, Ryan, Boehner, and McConnell are typical progressives. They vote for bigger debt, they want bigger government, and they want you to have less freedom. If you love freedom and economic sanity, they are your ardent enemies.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr Stanek, it's refreshing to FINALLY get a columnist at PJM to call a spade a spade. "What?? You mean to tell me the gop 'leadership' are a bunch of big government libs too?? Who knew?"

Watch your back though. I can't believe Roger Simon and the boys allowed this column onto the web site in the first place...
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
The real untold story is how before Murray and Ryan did their deal Hagel (SecDef) announced his priority for the military was to reduce its size, its pay, its benefits including healthcare and its pensions. And suddenly we have a deal that begins to carry out Hagel's vision, hurts our defense and makes a lie to our promise to wounded veterans and veterans in general. Meanwhile, the overall budget is higher now than with Sequestration, which is suspended for everyone except the military who've been ordered to cut some more. Meanwhile we're losing international allies every day by our stupid foreign policy while we arm and try to buy off our enemies as if they'll keep their promises especially to a President who lies routinely to everyone about everything. I fear for our future and for those who love freedom and prosperity over tyranny and misery.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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