Monday, January 30, 2006

Republican Spending

John Fund wrote a remarkable piece, “The Republican Soul,” that looks at why spending has skyrocketed under Republican government.

The prescription drug bill may have temporarily taken Medicare "off the table" for the 2004 election, but Republicans will be bedeviled for decades by its rising costs and complexity. At current growth rates, Medicare, its cousin Medicaid and Social Security will consume a fifth of the nation's gross national product by 2020. That number represents the current size of the entire federal government.

So these geniuses, the Republicans, put through the biggest entitlement program since LBJ’s Great Society just so that Medicare would not be an issue in the 2004 election?

Here’s some more of their brilliant strategery:

What accounts for the dramatic increase in the number of earmarks? Jonathan Rauch, a columnist for the National Journal, says that after Republicans saw how difficult it was to reduce the size of government during the 1990s, Mr. DeLay and White House political adviser Karl Rove adopted a new model: First, build a political machine that would win a secure majority, and then tackle entitlement spending using free-market reforms.

Let me get their plan straight. They decided to increase spending so they could have a “secure majority,” then once they were “secure” they would decrease spending? But if increased spending is necessary for these titans of leadership to feel secure, you are asking them to feel less secure with subsequent spending decreases -- and how many politicians will vote in ways that threaten their power?

This is how the vaunted Republican revolution of 1994 ended up, with timid politicians expanding the welfare state in order to buy votes. It’s further evidence, if any was needed, that politics is the last place to effect meaningful change. First a culture’s philosophy must be changed; only then will politicians feel secure enough to vote for freedom instead of power.

(HT: Right Wing News)

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