Independent Christian Voice

Saturday

GOP vs. GOP on federal spending

An article in the New York Times yesterday ("GOP split over big plans for storm spending") talked about the growing "fissure" among Republicans about government spending. On one side you have those Republicans that are on the same page as the neo-cons and Bush who have treated government spending like a kid in a candy store. On the other side you have the more traditional, fiscal-restraint Republicans who are either just now recognizing the financial calamity that awaits us at our current spending rate or are just now getting ballsy enough to actually say something "not positive" about how this administration (with the full complicity of the Republican-controlled Congress) is spending money. On Thursday, in full damage-control mode, Bush promised that "federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone." Displaying their characteristic compassion, some Republican senators, like our own Tom Coburn, urged restraint. Said Coburn, "I don't believe that everything that should happen in Louisana should be paid for by the rest of the country. I believe there are certain responsibilities that are due the people of Louisiana." (I wonder if he felt the same way when Oklahoma was looking for federal dollars in the wake of the Murrah bombing and in the wake of the devastating tornado outbreak on May 3, 1999). These "fiscal-conservative" Republicans want us to ignore the fact that we have sunk significantly more taxpayer dollars into a voluntary, now-proven-unjustified, pre-emptive war effort in Iraq. It's okay to voluntarily destroy a country and then pay to rebuild it, but it's not okay to rebuild an American city with American taxpayers' dollars in the wake of a natural disaster that we had little control over. I agree that government spending is out of control and we desperately need to regain control. I also agree that our deficit and national debt are gravely serious problems. However, I disagree that Iraq spending is acceptable use of taxpayer dollars while spending for rebuilding a major American city and region — a region that we depend heavily upon for shipping commerce, oil, seafood, etc. — is not an acceptable use of our tax dollars. House Majority Leader Tom ["I-never-see-a-donor-I-won't-whore-for"] Delay, R-Texas, claimed that the Republican Congress had already trimmed much of the fat from the federal budget, making it difficult to find ways to offset hurricane spending, the article says. Pat Toomey, a former Republican congressman and the head of the conservative political action committee, Club for Growth, disagreed with Delay's assertion that all the fat has been trimmed. "There has never been a time where there is more total spending and more wasteful spending in Washington than we have today." I agree. It's time for a change. Who's responsible for all this government spending in the last four-plus years? A Republican president, a Republican House of Representatives and a Republican Senate. It's indeed time for a change. Note to Democrats: If you regain control of either house of Congress or eventually the presidency, don't make the same mistake twice. Democrats were in control a long time prior to the "Republican Revolution" in 1994. The same reasons that caused you to lose control of Congress will be the same reasons that will cause the Republicans to lose control soon and will cause any party to lose control in the future: arrogant, monopolistic, self-preserving, selfish management of the country's affairs. Disclaimer: I am not a Democrat. I am a recovering Republican who is now a registered Independent.

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