Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona
What does the Republican Party stand for? Small government and reduced spending. Right? Wrong. That’s their PR story, but that’s not their behavior.
The graphic above leaves little to the imagination when you look at government spending under Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan (the father of the small government ideal), George Bush I, and George Bush II (the winner of the out-of-control spending award who was helped greatly by his 100% Republican-controlled Congress.)
I offer this history lesson because in the coming weeks we are going to hear a lot of Republican rhetoric about spending cuts and balancing our budgets at the kitchen table. Keep in mind that many of the Republicans who will be spouting this new fiscal conservatism marched in lock-step with President Bush as he destroyed our economy with tax cuts and entitlement programs we couldn’t afford, AND they were involved in the Republican Congressional blockade in December 2010 when they held out for tax cuts for the richest Americans and refused to discuss any other legislation until they secured tax cuts (which we couldn’t afford) for their cronies.
Check out Chris Hayes’ smackdown of the Republicans’ disingenuous fiscal policy decisions on the Rachel Maddow Show: GOP haunted by big spending and corporate favors.
The beginning is devoted to the Republican who will deliver the response to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight. Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin, is now known as a fiscal conservative and has written the Roadmap for America’s Future which features privatization schemes and a number of draconian cuts– including cuts in Medicare and Social Security but, of course, not military spending. There is a bit of a problem with Ryan wearing the fiscal conservative mantel. You see, during the Bush II era, Ryan was one of the Congressional drunken sailors who spent like there was no tomorrow; he voted for the Republican tax cuts and unfunded expansion of Medicare under Bush II.
At about 7 minutes, Hayes talks about out-of-control spending by Bush and Reagan, and about 10 minutes, he talks with economist James Galbraith.
So, as you listen to state and federal government Republicans in the coming months, take their new-found fiscal responsibility with a grain of salt. We need to be vigilant or we will lose everything that doesn’t help the military-industrial complex.
Uh, your graphic is a little misleading which is not surprising. I believe it shows which party the president belonged to vs deficit spending. I guess your readers are smart enough to realize that it is the US CONGRESS not the president who decides on the US budget, specifically the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Despite what you liberals wish for we are not controlled by a despot “president a la Hugo Chavez yet. Why not show a graph of which party controlled the House of Rep vs deficits? Oh that’s right, because it would show the exact opposite results you proclaim on your blog. For most of Reagan’s term there was a demoncratic congress. During Clinton’s term and the magical surpluses there was a republican congress. During the first half of Bush’s term there was a republican house which spent like drunken sailors, which they got thrown out of office for, but even with that spending there was eventually a decrease in the deficit (which probably had more to do with revenue increases caused by the housing bubble which originated under Carter and Clinton) and there would have even been a near break even in 2008 if it was not for TARP. Thanks for presenting the facts!
“President Bush as he destroyed our economy with tax cuts and entitlement programs we couldn’t afford”
The economy had the longest period of uninterupted growth since after WWII under W. If you were intellectually honest you would be interested to know what actually causes these bubbles (Community Reinvestment Act, Regulation, Fed Reserve pumping money into the economy,etc). It is not the president sitting when they happen.
It is funny a progressive is talking about entitlement programs we cannot afford.
At least it is beyond dispute that the military-industrial complex and what is called “Homeland Security” ( a very unsettling phrase that is too, too reminiscent of “Fatherland Security”) is off the Republican chopping block and the tax cut issue is decided already. This means that, once again with Republicans in charge of the House, the emphasis is again on corporate welfare, military-industrial welfare (not to be confused with the welfare of the service members) and the welfare of the wealthy. Everybody else can apparently just suck it up and ante up. Sick? too bad. Out of work? Too bad. Hungry? Too bad. Need another billion dollar contract to get ready for the next war? What can we do to help?