Republican Leaders’ Budget Hypocrisy

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the supposed “fiscal hawk” Republican budget negotiator, voted for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program that Bush foisted on the nation shortly before he left office, a program that polls showed Americans overwhelmingly opposed. Ryan also supported Bush’s huge Medicare expansion for prescription drugs -- the largest entitlement increase since Medicare was created in the 1960s and the first to be done without one penny of revenue designated to pay for it. Ryan supported Bush’s failed economic stimulus spending. Ryan supported virtually all the Bush-era spending increases. Now, we get a promise to cut 1/1,825 of federal spending over a decade. Combine this paltry promise with the recent history of federal spending under a Republican president who, for a time, also enjoyed Republicans in charge of the House and the Senate, and who had Republicans in charge of the House for most of his term.

Some people actually believe in limiting the size and power of government. Republican leaders say they believe in it, but when was the last time they acted upon these beliefs?

The Republican base is angry that Republican establishment leaders don’t act on their professed beliefs, and the leaders are angry because the base wants them to practice what they preach. Which stance is more honorable?