Tuesday, July 8, 2008

George Bush and his Big Spending Republicans

I’m frequently asked if I worry that voting for Bob Barr will put Barack Obama in the White House. It’s a reasonable question. The answer is no. Here's why: I’m an old adage kind of guy. Regardless of the situation, I believe that there is probably an old adage that is relevant and instructive. One of my favorites is: “Actions speak louder than words”. In spite of their blather about being for limited government, George Bush and his Republican Congress have been far bigger spenders than Barack Obama could ever hope to be.

According to the conservative Heritage Foundation, federal spending has increased 60% under Bush, after adjusting for inflation. That’s twice the rate of growth under Bill Clinton. The majority of spending increases were not for national security or domestic law enforcement.

Discretionary spending rose a whopping 75% under Bush. Discretionary spending fell throughout the Clinton years. George Bush doubled farm subsidies. He dramatically increased education spending, with failed programs like No Child Left Behind. He passed the most expensive pork-barrel highway bill in history. Welfare programs like Medicaid and Food Stamps grew 56% under Bush.

Entitlement spending has also ballooned under Bush, in part because of Bush’s new Medicare drug entitlement, which will cost $783 billion over the next decade and trillions in the following decades.

Waste, fraud and abuse are now at record levels. Bush has presided over the largest increase in pork barrel earmarks in history. Bush spends $60 billion a year on corporate welfare. Half of all farm subsidies go to wealthy corporations who don’t need it. Medicare fraud is estimated to cost upwards of $25 billion annually. The government’s own auditors believe that programs totaling $123 billion in annual spending fail to show any positive impact on the populations they serve.

There’s more: $55 billion in federal overpayments; 1,200 "lost" computers in the Commerce Department; Home Land Security employees buying plasma televisions and iPods; the Defense Department wasting $100 million on airline tickets that were never used; Air Force personnel spending your tax dollars on gambling, cruises, and strip clubs...

Even the debit cards given to Hurricane Katrina victims were used to pay for things like Caribbean vacations, NFL tickets, Dom Perignon champagne, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and at least one sex change operation!

The result? George Bush and his Republican Congress added trillions to the national debt by turning Clinton’s last annual $155 billion surplus into the current annual $500 billion deficit.

So, back to the question: Am I worried that voting for Bob Barr will put Obama in the White House? Nope. George Bush and his GOP Congress have proven to be worse than their Democratic predecessors, so what else could I possibly be worried about???

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