Republican Fiscal Conservatism

These last few years have pretty much convinced me that when it comes to government spending, that Republicans only count the stuff they don’t like.

Looking at our budgets and national debt since WWII, it looks like our national debt does far worse under Republican administrations than Democratic ones. But then why do Republicans keep getting credit as being the fiscally conservative party? Is an overly generous welfare system that much more repugnant than special interest tax breaks and government waste (Katrina, DoD contracts)?

With the welfare reform of 1996, the only other Democratic “big government” programs seem to be Medicare and Social Security. Isn’t the “tax and spend” image of the Democrats a thing of the past?

With all this said, I don’t credit the Democrats for cleaning up their own act but if this President is the result of that housecleaning, I’d rather have lived in filth. Hopefully, we can survive two more years of George Bush.

Damn, I long for the days when a Presidential blowjob was a big fucking deal.

Working backwards from our current administration we have a democrat who reformed welfare, a republican who raised taxes, and another republican who ran up huge deficits. Politicians can only achieve those things which they are grudgingly forced to. Or, as a great political philosopher said “the less you plan to do about something the more you must talk about it.”

The repubs are an arm of the military industrial complex. There is no limit to the amount of money the military can spend. Even during the peaceful lulls between wars. We can pretend we need defending against an imaginary threat and justify spending our collective treasure to increase profits.

The Republicunts brand themselves one way but act another, as you have noted.

The question is why they keep getting away with it?

Because their constituency hates you. And part of the reason they hate you is because you demonize them right along with their leaders by swiping the whole Republican population with words like “Republicunt”.

I mean, my god. Walk up to a stranger on the bus sometime and say, “You’re such a fucking idiot. Do you like me?”

Are you on the bus right now? Because you’re such a fucking idiot!

Well, actually, the President doesn’t have the power to raise taxes. When Bush41 said “Read my lips: no new taxes” he was announcing his intention to block Congress from introducing tax hikes. Even so, a sufficiently determined Congress can get new taxes through even after a veto, and Bush was eventually forced to sign off on the 1990 budget, tax increases and all, because the deficit had to be brought under control.

Personally, I think the fault lies with Congress and the Reagan Administration, who cheerfully signed off on just about every loopy defense-spending bill they could think of.

And Aeschines is an idiot, as usual.

I don’t think that it’s quite proper to simply brand any particular party with the blame for uncontrolled military spending. Even when there are serious attempts to cut military spending it is always sabotaged by Congresspersons who fight scorched earth battles to protect their own personal balliwacks, to Hell with any rational standard for spending such money.

Some examples I can think of, off the top of my head, include forcing the Navy to refurb the USS John F. Kennedy in the early nineties, soley to keep the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard open for another year or two; the whole A-10 project which was forced on the Air Force by an influential Congressional member (I think it was a Long Island Representative, but I can’t be sure, now.); the way that any time a base closing is suggested there’s a knee-jerk “You can’t do that here!” Which often ends up forcing GAO studies for ideas that are prima facie without sense - The Florida delegation in the 1990’s fought tooth and nail for their naval base, to the point of seriously suggesting that the Navy base at Norfolk, VA be closed, instead and the whole Atlantic Fleet HQ be moved down to Florida. (And please remember, the whole point of that wave of base closings was to allow for the ‘Peace Dividend’ by saving money.)

The Republican Party, as a whole, may be more sympathetic to military spending, in general, but the Democrats are just as guilty, IMNSHO.

I see that your hardon is also there, as usual. Sorry, I didn’t bring KY to the party. You’ll have to go in dry.

It’s complete spin and marketing. The Republicans are just much better at this. But it’s really just very difficult to kill a meme. I’ve cited over and over the relevant pages from eRiposte.com that demonstrate that any economic indicator you can think of does better under Democratic administrations, even when you account for a lag time.

I’ve also started to realize that this idea that a divided government is necessarily better for the economy than an all Democratic one isn’t very well supported by the data. But that’s a meme that won’t go away either.

People really seem to want to believe that both parties are equally bad, and that is to the great benefit of the Republicans. There’s no room for data, empiricism or rational thought in the equation.

But rational thought often allows for opposite conclusions, depending on the premises. Wouldn’t a Keynesian and an Austrian look at the same data from eRiposte and draw different conclusions, since both start from very different axioms?

I’m not sure why that’s relevant. That data isn’t put forth to draw any other conclusion than that economic indicators perform better under Democratic presidents. One can argue why that might be all the live long day, but that is the starting point.

And that starting point stands squarely in the face of the assertion that the Republicans are fiscally or economically preferable to the Democrats.

You being an idiot is my viagra. You smartening up should kill the romance.

Yeah, that whole “tax and spend” mantra is very effective. “Borrow and spend and leave the debt for the next poor sod who takes office” just doesn’t have the same buzz.

Yes, but one can also argue what an economic indicator is. In fact, Austrians have been arguing that for nearly a century. If I recall correctly what Hawthorne told me (and I certainly stand to be corrected), even post-Keynesian economists are very dainty about macroeconomic conclusions. They’re pretty much a crap shoot.

Don’t worry, you’ll still have mental masturbation, your ultimate thrill.

Can’t we all just get along? No? Oh, OK.

I’m waiting for the snapper, the punch line. Dems are going to bring in their wish list of social advancement, and the Pubbies get to tell them that we can’t afford it, because we done poured all that money into the sands of the Godforsaken Desert. They were eager to get on with the whole “bi-partisan” thingy, vote for a few things the Dems would like, but now their hands are tied, the Chinese hold the mortgage on our balls. Damn shame!

I don’t think Bush Sr. was fiscally irresponsible. If you look at the debt charts, the debt started levelling off during Bush Sr.'s administration.

The problem I have with rank and file Republicans is that they support George Bush. They think George Bush walks on water and some even think he is one of the greatest presidents we have ever had. I know enough rank and file Republicans to know that there is a change going on in the Republican party. People are breaking rank and voting against their party. It wasn’t any one thing but the combination of the War in Iraq, the response to Katrina, the huge increase in national debt, the irresponsible tax breaks, the corruption, the scandal, and the hypocrisy are making many of them think that maybe a Presidential blowjob wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I swear these were people who thought Bill Clinton was the anti-Christ (for creating two new tax brackets for those who made more than $250K/year, Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky) now don’t seem to think he was such a terrible President anymore.

Actually, more than 1 in 5 Republicans just wish his term was over, according to the newest Newsweek poll. And it isn’t anything new. A year ago, sixty percent of them opposed a variety of Bush decisions from ports management to supreme court nominations to FEMA operations. The problem with Democrats, it seems to me, is that they can’t figure out when they’ve won and what to do once they have. I’m pretty confident that it’s a good time for them to be conciliatory and gracious, and that it would serve their causes well.