My fiscal conservatism has been challenged because of my conditional support of Republicans, particularly over Democrats, when they have been spending money in record amounts.
My retort is always that the GOP has been the historical home to fiscal conservatism and smaller federal government. It is easier to change something back to what it once was than to change something to what it has never been.
Easiest answer Democrats will be worse spenders. Need proof? See recent comments by DNC Chairman Howard Dean and new Democratic darling Ned Lamont, fresh off his primary win.
In a recent speech, Dean lambasted President Bush for spending half a trillion dollars in Iraq when that money could be used for better homeland security. While that may be a legitimate point, he closed his speech by saying the money should be spent on social programs like health care for all Americans.
In a Wall Street Journal editorail, Lamont laments the federal deficit and spending in Iraq while simultaneously calling for increased spending on social programs – in the same sentence.
We talked about irresponsible budget policies that have driven the annual federal deficit above $300 billion and the debt ceiling to $9 trillion. Meanwhile, the government is spending $250 million a day on an unprovoked war in Iraq while starving needed social investment at home.
How is it always that war and defense spending are what drives up the debt, but social programs are always "starving?" Entitlement programs account for close to 8 percent of GDP, while defense spending is about half that. Military and domestic security spending accounted for roughly 19% of government spending in 2004. Social Security in itself was larger than that at 21%. The big three (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) were 42% of federal spending – and those are numbers are getting higher.
If you really want to do something about the debt and deficit spending, lets go after the waste in those three, other social programs, earmarks and defense spending. You won’t get a balanced budget and see the debt go down simply by turning our guns into flowers – not to mention the whole terrorism thing.
Let’s see some honest proposals from Democrats on spending. How do we cut the deficit? Would you support a balanced budget amendment? Would you support a taxpayer bill of rights that only allows government to increase that same as inflation and growth?
The rhetoric from the left on the economy is similar to that with the War on Terror. "The Republicans are doing it wrong. We would do it different. Don’t ask us how, just know it would be better."
It’s hard for me, as a voter who is upset with Republican spending, to evaluate the Democratic positions on spending when they can’t give me anything to actually evaluate, except their statements which are muddled at best.