Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fiscally Conservative?

Just one short question emerges for me about this recent budget proposal from the Whitehouse's current batch of Republicans who vociferously proclaim to be fiscally conservative.
President Bush on Monday submitted a $3.1-trillion budget for the next fiscal year that reflected his strategy for dealing with a costly war and a troubled economy: substantially boost military expenditures, rein in domestic spending -- including for Medicare -- and more than double the deficit.
Indeed, where is the fiscal responsibility here? I wrote this thought in a prior post: "I'm...just suggesting that there is nothing fiscally conservative about the current batch of “conservatives” in the White House."

Craig, one of the regular commentators over at bio had this to sum up in response to a prior post and it fits well here.
Absolutely true. The first clue that this would be a problem was Bush's claim to represent compassionate conservatism. For "compassionate", read "when someone is hurting, it's the government's job to do something about it." While Bush's actual record is rather dubious about whether he is a consistent compassionate conservative, he is certainly a big government (if such a thing is not an oxymoron) conservative and, thus, the largest expansion of any government social welfare program in decades, Medicare Part D, "No Child Left Behind", expansion of public funding of "Faith-Based" programs, and the Terry Schiavo affair.

If President Clinton declared that the era of big government was dead, it has clearly been revived by President Bush in a sort of Frankensteinian fusion of liberal ideas with conservative sensibilities (read tax-cuts). If liberals are often painted as tax and spend happy, Bush appears to be tax-cut and spend happy. The worst of both worlds.

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