Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Okay. Certainly, the Democrats are no better in terms of pork-barrel spending than the Republicans. For example, on NPR last night, Nancy Pelosi tried to blame the system rather than taking responsibility for the pork-filled omnibus spending bills Congress keeps sneaking past the American public.

BUT... Democrats also haven't portrayed themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility like the Republicans have. It was a Republican President -- Ronald Reagan -- who slammed down a 1100 page omnibus spending bill (hurting his hand in the process) and promised it wouldn't happen again. But it's happened 8 times since then, often done by Republican congresses.

So, it really pisses me off when Republicans tell me they voted for Bush because they "don't want the Democrats taking all my money," like my mother did. Frankly, the only difference between the Democrats and Republicans on spending now is that Republicans want to spend like it's going out of style and still cut taxes while the Democrats are at least realistic enough not to want to CUT taxes while increasing spending.

At one time, the Republicans may have been the party of fiscal responsibility. They still claim to be. But it's a blatant lie. And they know it, too. They just don't care.

Of course, all the people in the red states crying about the government taking away their money, as we now know, say nothing about the fact that they get more from the Federal government than they put in, with the extra largely coming from the blue states.

Therefore, the red states disproportionally benefit more from pork than the blue states, since they're getting free money while the blue states are actually getting less back than they put in. So, why should the red states not want taxes to go down and spending to go up? Why not try to pay as little as possible but take out as much as possible? The blue states are paying for it anyway. Stick it to the liberal elite, they say! And then, in twenty years, when the bill comes due and the huge deficit needs to be paid, the red states will already have bled the blue states dry and gotten all their pork, and then the blue states will bear most of the burden of paying the deficit back anyway! Yay for so-called fiscal responsibility!

I guess the Republicans really mean "other people should be fiscally responsible," since we in the blue states end up paying for the poor economies produced by states who build churches instead of businesses, who believe in creation rather than science (one makes money and one doesn't... wanna guess which?), and put the Ten Commandments in the schools and somehow don't notice it hasn't stopped kids from shooting each other. And we end up paying for Enron, Global Crossing, WorldCom, and all the other fat-cat corporate welfare companies who steal their employees' pensions and put it into the account of the CEO, who, being rich and a friend of the administration, will never see jail time (and never have to give the money back either, since they have access to off-shore accounts and other legal loopholes created by the rich for the rich). Why should Republicans be fiscally responsible when they can just rely on hard-working Democrats and liberals to bail them out when their gravy train comes to an end?

In the same way, the Republicans are no longer the party of small government. Just look at the Istook amendment (the clause inserted into the budget bill by Republicans to allow the chairmen of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to look at anyone's tax return and release the information). The party that balks at gun owner registration because they don't think the government should have that information thinks it's okay for the government to snoop around your tax returns and give the information out whenever they want.

The party of small government and individual rights pushed the Patriot Act through, has held American citizens without charge or trial, wants to ban gay marriage with a constitutional amendment, wants to force Christianity on all Americans, wants to spend billions on boondoggles like National Missile Defense, and continues to protect corporations at the expense of the individual.

The Republicans are the party of Enron, Global Crossing, WorldCom, and the House of Saud.

And, of course, the so-called "party of personal responsibility" votes in the DeLay rule when their supposed moral uprightness might actually become inconvenient. Saying you're moral when nothing is happening is meaningless.

It's what you do when the situation actually comes up that shows what you really are. By repealing the rule that Republican House Leaders under indictment had to step down, it shows that the Republicans were never, ever, really serious about ethics. The fact that DeLay has been admonished like three times by the House Ethics Committee but that the Republicans are still trying to portray the possible indictment of DeLay as a partisan witch-hunt. I mean, if the Republicans on the ethics committee found DeLay guilty of ethical violations, is it such a stretch that, in the same matter (because the ethics violations were because of the same actions that the potential indictments will be).

Lies. Lies. Lies.


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