Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | August 05, 2003

Bush is the "Mother of All Big Spenders"

The CATO Institute, that bastion of libertarianism and worship of free unfettered markets, is a natural ally of the GOP. Or used to be, back when Republicans where responsible stewards of the budget.

The Bush administration's newly released budget projections reveal an anticipated budget deficit of $450 billion for the current fiscal year, up another $151 billion since February. Supporters and critics of the administration are tripping over themselves to blame the deficit on tax cuts, the war, and a slow economy. But the fact is we have mounting deficits because George W. Bush is the most gratuitous big spender to occupy the White House since Jimmy Carter. One could say that he has become the "Mother of All Big Spenders."
Woah! Since Jimmy Carter? He was a -- gasp! -- a "liberal"! But Bush is certainly better than Clinton, isn't he? Clinton was evil, and also a "LIEberal". Wasn't he?
That the nation's budgetary situation continues to deteriorate is because the administration's fiscal policy has been decidedly more about politics than policy [...]

Such blatant political maneuvering can only be described as Clintonian.

But perhaps we are being unfair to former President Clinton. After all, in inflation-adjusted terms, Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent. This is contrasted by Bush's three-year total spending increase of 15.6 percent and a 20.8 percent explosion in non-defense discretionary spending.

The numbers are startling.

In the first three years of the Clinton presidency, government spending increased just 3.5 percent. Total. Non-defense discretionary spending actually went down 0.7 percent.

For Bush, the numbers are a 15.6 percent increase in spending, and a massive 20.8 percent increase in non-defense discretionary spending.

Note the "non-defense" part of that last sentence. They can't pin this mess on the "war on terror".

But this CATO report saves the best for last:

Sadly, the Bush administration has consistently sacrificed sound policy to the god of political expediency. From farm subsidies to Medicare expansion, purchasing reelection votes has consistently trumped principle. In fact, what we have now is a president who spends like Carter and panders like Clinton.
Coming from Republicans, this is damning.

Spends like Carter and panders like Clinton. The Freepers are not happy.

Posted August 05, 2003 01:05 AM


Bush Administration
Business and Economy
Foreign Policy

© 2002. Steal all you want.
(For non-commercial use, that is.)