Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What's a 9% annual spending hike between friends?

The Republican Party has been in power for years now, with a monopoly over the legislative and executive branches (and a majority in the judicial branch). So how is the self-described "party of small government" faring?

We have expensive wars overseas, we have massive numbers of American casualties in Iraq; we have an activist foreign policy which would make Wilson jealous; we've received a new and disastrously operated Medicare prescription drug program; we have the government trying to legislate individuals' personal and family lives; and we've endured endless incursions into our civil liberties ranging from illegal wiretaps to efforts to legalize torture.

But at least the GOP is clinging to one small government value--its fiscal conservatism--right? Guess again.

more . . .

Federal spending in 2006 is set to rise 9 percent, the largest increase since 1990 and enough to earn Congress near failing grades from the Heritage Foundation’s third quarter report card.[1] Most families facing steep new expenses would cut back on additional spending. However, the Senate is preparing to bust fiscal year (FY) 2007 discretionary spending caps by at least $32 billion


Senators classify much of this new spending as “emergency” so that it does not technically count against the budget caps.

When we Libertarians have pointed out these facts, we've been blasted as "left wingers." It's hard to see where the Republicans' bona fides come from. Do they come from a profligate Republican Congress blasted by the Heritage Foundation? Perhaps a GOP-developed federal budget which manages to consistently outpace even the spending growth of the big government Clinton-Gore administration?

The honest, forthcoming answers to these questions are likely hidden in the secret vaults containing large stockpiles of Iraqi WMDs.