Sending a Message
Deroy Murdoch explains what it means to be a modern Republican:
*This Congress is set to hike federal spending by 15 percent over just two years, more than quadruple the inflation rate. Most of this does nothing to fight terrorism.
*On May 13, Bush signed a $191 billion farm bill that boosts agriculture subsidies by 80 percent. Congress even included $100 million to provide rural consumers "high-speed, high-quality broadband service." The Heritage Foundation estimates that this 10-year bill will cost the average U.S. household $180 in new taxes annually.
*Bush's education department budget grows from $35.75 billion in 2001 (when he arrived) to a projected $57 billion in 2005. That is a four-year, 59.5 percent increase in federal school outlays. Bush's Leave No Child Behind initiative promotes testing and higher standards, but does little to advance school choice.
*Bush signed the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance-reform law. It treats the disease of legal bribery with a prescribed overdose. As if there were no First Amendment, it will restrict political activists from purchasing ads critical of political incumbents within 60 days of elections.
*Bush dropped an anvil on free-marketeers this spring when he imposed 30 percent tariffs on imported steel and a 27 percent tax on Canadian softwood lumber. This has created throbbing headaches among world leaders who have grown weary of Bush's self-mocking free-trade rhetoric.
*Bush has applauded a Senate bill by liberal Republican Pete Domenici of New Mexico and arch-liberal Democrat Paul Wellstone of Minnesota that would force company health plans to insure mental illness and physical ailments equally. Costs will soar as employers underwrite medical care for anxiety atop angina.
Enough, indeed. Want to know why Republicans piss me off more than Democrats? Because Republicans are supposed to damn well know better.
Come election day this November, a stubbed toe might prove more fun and less useless than voting Republican.