What happend to "smaller government" republicans

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jayb2000, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    RI -> CA -> ME
    #1
    http://money.cnn.com/2004/01/26/news/economy/election_budget/spending_explosion.gif

    Remember the "Contract with America"?
    Here was the very first bill they wanted to implement:
    THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out- of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.

    Instead we have the largest debt ever, the largest deficit ever, the highest deficit to GDP ratio since 1986, the largest increase in federal spending, and the highest number of federal employees.

    At least Dean wants a balanced budget.
     
  2. jayb2000 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    RI -> CA -> ME
    #2
    Sorry for 2 posts, wanted to attach picture so it showed up.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #3
    So much for small government.... Go ahead Bush try, but its the nature of the beast, it just gets bigger.
     
  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #4
    Why do you think a lot of folks refer to Congress as being made up of Republicrats?

    The Republicans finally figured out what wins re-election: Buy those votes! So, nowadays they're out-Deming the Dems. Pardon me while I go off in the corner and throw up!

    The Dems created a coalition of special interests whose desires were to be met by the promises of campaign rhetoric: The women's libbers, Danegeld to the ghettos, alms for the poor, the race card...

    Now, the Republicans are out-doing Gore's efforts, and buying the Old Farts' votes, among others. Defense spending is jobs, right? Keeps the workforce there highpaid and happy.

    Six of one, half-dozen of the other. Just buying different groups.

    'Rat
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #5
    Hey, 'Rat, don't tell me you're just figuring this out!

    The "Republicrat" stuff doesn't cut it anymore. The federal government is completely run by Republicans now. Nobody else to blame for this debacle but them.

    Short of a lively multiparty system, the only way to keep the government from diving off the deepest end is divided government.
     
  6. wwworry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    #6
    or you could say that any past fiscal irresponsibility by democrats pales in comparison to what the republicans are doing now.

    Really we saw huge deficit growth under the first Bush and Reagan (though Bush 1 finally saw the need for some fiscal responsibility at the end of his term).

    If you look at that chart you will see that in '93 and '94, the last time the house was under democratic control, spending was under control. Democrats in the house passed the marginal rate increases that gave us surpluses that would have allowed us to pay down our Reagan/Bush era debt. You will also notice that when the senate also came under republican control spending jumped.

    And to claim that it's all congresses fault is a bit too convenient for me. I would say the reason we have had deficits and the huge debt in the last 24 years is because of the known-to-be-stupid "supply-side" voodoo economics present in the republican party.

    Let me sum it up for you:
    1. huge tax cuts for the rich with no spending cuts
    2. ????
    3. Surplus!

    So to try and define deficit spending as "a democrat thing" is all out wrong.
     
  7. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #7
    the bottom line is George is giving anything and everything the congress wants, they are like drug addicts with our tax dollars. they want more and more and cant stop. Contract with America has been lost. everything they claimed has been thrown out the window. I think we will see a new president voted in this year and perhaps a democrat majority in congress. We are not going to let either party keep screwing us. we gave the Republicans a chance and they blew it. Democrats turn next. we have to get special interest out of running the country on both sides. No more lobbyist!
     
  8. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    Re: What happend to "smaller government" republicans

    Well, he can start by paying his deli bill...
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #9
    Re the "Reagan deficits": IIRC, Rostenkowski ran the House Appropriations Committee, whence cometh all spending authorization. Tip O'Neill pretty much had the say-so on all domestic programs...

    "Balancing" the budget or controlling spending is easy during boom times. Lots of money flowing from business deals and sales, so lots of tax money to all levels of government.

    Booms end.

    IJ, I sure won't argue against the notion that the present spending mess is solely Republican in impetus. But I believe that replacing their control with Democrats will bring about any notable improvement in what the feds do. We still get shafted, but in different arenas.

    Smoking reduces one's ability to smell, which is real helpful in a voting booth. The lesser of two weevils still messes up the cornmeal...

    'Rat
     
  10. wwworry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    #10
    Well, we have recent history to guide us and it points to the democrats doing a better job managing the govt. finances.

    During Reagan/Bush1 it was GOP mantra that "it was all congresses fault". But then:

    with a republican president and a democrat house we had big deficits (1980-1992)

    with a Democrat president and a democrat house. The nations finances became sound. (1992-1994)

    with a Democrat president and a republican house the nations finances were sound. (1994-2000)

    with a republican president and a republican house we have big deficits (2000-????)

    Add it up, do some process of elimination and what do you get? You need to start accounting for the president in your equations.
     
  11. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #11
    Re: Re: What happend to "smaller government" republicans

    There maybe many reasons not to vote for Howard Dean but someone on his staff forgetting to pay a deli bill isn't one of them.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #12
    I haven't argued for replacing control, I've argued for divided government. I don't think the Democrats would have much if any better fiscal discipline if they were 100% in control. If recent history tells us anything, it's that one party control leads to an orgy of self interest government spending, and given the present situation, I don't see how that point can be much debated. Right now, we've got a President who doesn't wield the veto pen and a minority party in Congress that can't introduce a single bill or stop bills that come to the floor, no matter how loaded they are with corporate gimmies. It's a prescription for disaster.

    As for the Reagan deficits, the Democrats in Congress passed the Reagan budgets, not the other way around. I suppose you and I might agree that the Democrats in Congress at the time should not have allowed Reagan to be so profligate with the taxpayer's money, but that's a long way from blaming them for Reagan's fiscal policies.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #13
    So are you saying we should blame the Republican-controlled Congress for the fiscal problems we find ourselves in currently?
     
  14. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #14
    Okay, IJ, re the Reagan budgets, but for one thing. It was common, each year, for the comment by "Rosty" to be made upon submission of the proposed budget from the White House that it was "Dead on arrival."

    mac, I sorta already said that, didn't I? Except that I'll limit it to the federal deficit, not all the other fiscal problems extant.

    Today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a sidebar comparing deficits: In 1983, the deficit was 6% of GDP; the highest in history at $208 billion. In 2002, it was 3.5%, at $375 billion. In 2003, it was 4.2%, at $477 billion.

    The worrisome part of this, to me, is that 3.5% and 4.2% now is harder on the country than 6% then. We just don't have the net savings per household; personal debt is way high, and the average buying power is still in decline. The dollar is likely to resume its fall against many world currencies, and oil is likely to increase in price. (IMO) Anyhow, this seems to me to preclude any sort of tax increase; any improvement in the federal fiscal mess can only come from reducing spending.

    And any actual reduction in federal spending will be met by howls of outrage from those feeding from the federal trough...

    'Rat
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #15
    Which was just so much showmanship, because after much hemming and hawing, they'd go right ahead and pass those budgets. I can't tell if you're conceding the point I've been making, but I sure hope you aren't clinging to the old canard that Democrats are free-spenders and Republicans are tight with the taxpayer dollar. Nobody could make that argument with a straight face anymore except maybe right-wing talk radio hosts and Republican party operatives.
     
  16. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    Denver
    #16
    the "smaller gov't" republicans refer to is less spending on domestic discretionary and even non-discretionary (ss, medicare/medicaid) spending. when they claim to want less spending, they certainly weren't talking about less defense spending.

    what concerns me is that once the feds start spending money, it's really hard to cut them back. especially when it comes to defense. so even if there is a new prez come january, cutting back defense spending to more reasonable levels will be incredibly difficult, especially considering the guaranteed outcry from reps. "they're gutting our precious nation's ability to defend itself in this time of terrorist threats!" never mind that having the biggest military in the world didn't stop 9-11 from happening in the first place.

    the republicans are fighting for an "every man for himself" world. i'd characterize it more as "dog eat dog" myself, especially with the military focus of the current administration.
     
  17. wwworry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    #17
    the other thing about deficit as % of the GDP is that it adds up in debt. If we have 10 years of this 5% of GDP ....
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #18
    IJ, at one time the Republicans definitely were for less spending. Obviously that has changed. "It ain't your father's Oldsmobile!" They're now working hard at buying votes with tax dollars, just as have the Democrats since FDR...

    About the only folks in Congress who really believe in "less government" are those like Ron Paul. The rest of them are always busy expanding centralized power. That took a great leap forward as LBJ's programs got underway, and hasn't slowed a bit. Pick a subject: Education, medicine, Evil Drugs, Evil Terrorists: Bipartisan, all the way. More federal control, more federal spending.

    Sarcasm: Aren't we glad SAT scores have climbed dramatically? Aren't we glad medicine is cheaper and more available? The drug problem is notably lessened? Terrorists are no real problem? Hey, isn't all that what we've been promised? (Mode off.)

    wwworry, are you acquainted with the "rule of 72"? That is, divide any percentage into 72, and that gives you the number of years to double. (Investment, or debt, at 6% doubles in 12 years.)

    'Rat
     
  19. wwworry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    #19
    I am not familiar with that. That's why I put the "..." at the end of my post.

    I do know that the GDP grows so that 5% of todays GDP will not be 5% of tomorrows GDP.

    I just checked the US National Debt Clock

    Our Debt is $7,022,784,864,559.24

    "The estimated population of the United States is 293,147,992 so each citizen's share of this debt is $23,956.45.

    The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $2.00 billion per day since September 30, 2003!"

    Our GDP in todays dollars is $11,107,000,000,000.00

    so the percentage of our dbt to todays GDP is 63%! That seems like a lot to me.
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #20
    Maybe it's middle age kicking in, but I'm having a hard time recalling when the Republicans, as a party, were really moving the country towards fiscal sanity. Reagan certainly wasn't, and however many "deficit hawks" lived in Congress during the 1980s, their influence certainly wasn't much felt in the end. In fact the Reagan White House pretty much exiled the fiscal conservatives to the sidelines of their own party.

    Remember David Stockman? He resigned over the Reagan administration's besotted affair with looney economic theories like the "Laffer Curve." I'll go one step further, and say that at least the Democrats have been more honest about the need to tax the citizenry to pay for government programs. Over the last 25 years, the Republicans have been trying to tell us we can increase government spending and lower taxes. The results of that theory put into practice are available for all to see and evaluate.
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #21
    By and large, the Republicans were fiscal conservatives through the 50s/60s/70s. Approximately. Since then, there has been a change away from fiscal conservatism, little by little, with this recent drastic acceleration.

    (My problem with this sort of discussion is that there are myriad pieces, each having many contributory factors. To keep from writing a book, I feel like we have to oversimplify like mad, and use a lot of "verbal shorthand". The problem with that is that some folks aren't in the same dictionary. :) )

    "I'll go one step further, and say that at least the Democrats have been more honest about the need to tax the citizenry to pay for government programs."

    Sure, I fully agree. My problem is that (again, IMO) way too many of these programs escalate dramatically in cost, yet are relatively ineffective as to accomplishment. Plus, there are the not-thought-of Unintended Consequences. I don't argue with the goals of many programs; I do argue against much of the methodology of design, implementation and administration. Me, I'd get rid of the Dept of Edu, for instance.

    wwworry, it's better to look at federal programs' costs, or total budgets or surpluses or deficits in terms of percent of GDP, rather than the actual dollar values. That gives a better picture about increases or decreases in real terms, automatically factoring in inflation.

    Insofar as the $7 trillion in debt, don't forget the "off-the-books" debt--as in Social Insecurity--which is much larger. Estimates of the total run as high as $44 trillion.

    'Rat
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #22
    Fine, but I didn't think we were debating the efficacy of any given government program. I mean, if you want to go there, we can talk about how effective the billions spend on SDI turned out to be. But that's not what I wanted to talk about here.

    The point I've been making is the need to keep our government sufficiently balanced such that no party can use it as their reelection campaign finance machine. No matter what they'll spend the money on, given the free hand, it's pretty clear to me that neither party has a grip on fiscal reality. Let them neutralize each other's agendas, is my solution. Given the history of the matter, I think it's our only hope.
     
  23. wwworry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    #23
    That what I was doing. Our current debt is 63% of our GDP. My problem is that people keep saying "this years deficit is only 5% of the GDP" forgetting that it adds up into debt, forgetting that interest payments are now 10% of the federal budget.

    If you want a smaller govt, if you want a tax cut then pay down the debt. That would free up 10% of the budget.

    You could probably then do some nice things with social security etc. But now we are faced with more long term deficit. wasted opportunity.
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #24
    Wellllll, it was in 1797 that a feller said that democracy works just fine until people find out they can "vote themselves largesse from the public coffers." How do you keep candidates from buying our votes with our money? We--one special interest or another--keep demanding programs, so the politicos keep promising them to us.

    Add up all those special interest groups, whether Halliburton et al or Jesse Jackson et al--or beekeepers or stamp collectors--and you wind up with a bunch of debt. Great Societies don't come cheaply...

    The reason I bring up inefficiencies is that we already know they won't deliver what's promised; they're gonna cost a helluva lot more than originally thought. So, if anybody gives a rat's patoot about debt and balanced budgets, why do we keep demanding more programs or more money for existing programs?

    'Rat
     
  25. wwworry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2002
    #25
    that's where responsible politicians concerned about the long term good of the country come in.

    obviously, we do not have that now. We just have an administration and congress more concerned with their own power and perks than the future of the country.
     

Share This Page