Monday, August 22, 2005

Government Spending

Chris Edwards (CATO Institute) penned an opinion piece in the Washington Times today entitled, Where's the Opposition? The article addresses Congressional spending and the rise of the Republican-porksters - quite a popular topic these days on this blog and elsewhere. Edwards' main beef seems to be that neither party is willing to combat wasteful spending and embrace fiscal conservatism:
In the early 1990s, Republicans lambasted the Democrats' wasteful spending, and that helped propel them to power in 1994. Today, Democrats are missing a ripe opportunity to attack the GOP's equally wasteful ways. The two parties are partners-in-crime in pork spending, corporate subsidies, unneeded Pentagon weapons systems, misallocated homeland security funding, and other waste.
Partner-in-crime is apt. My theory is that the Republicans have simply evolved. The GOP spent the first half-century of the post-New Deal era fighting increases in government spending to no avail. Now, apparently they have given up the fight and co-opted the m.o. of the enemy. Classic realignment. Democrats and traditional tax and spend liberals complain incessantly that Republicans dole out favors and subsidies to the rich and well-connected. True enough - it's called vote buying. Such cronyism is merely a replication of the big government-Democrat tactics that have defined that party for a century. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, eh? Notice that the complaints that ring on both sides of the aisle nowadays focus solely on who is the recipient of government hand-outs, not that handouts occur in the first place.
Sure. I will admit that, given the Hobson's choice between these 2 terrible evils, I would prefer that the poor and powerless receive the goodies; but, that does not have to be the choice. We can stop this monster if we choose to do so.
When analyzing policy and the powers that we "delegate" (in theory) to the state, we must always first ask, "what can my political enemy do with this power?" If you can't live with the answer, punch eject.
Side note: Is G.W. going to be the only President in history to NEVER use his presidential veto?


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