After nearly five years in office, the record is clear: President George W. Bush ranks among the biggest spending presidents in American history! With such a record, no person can honestly categorize G.W. Bush as a fiscal conservative. By comparison, Dubya’s spending habits make Bill Clinton look like a conservative!
Writing for the Financial Times (7/15/05), Jim Cooper stated, “President George W. Bush has failed to impose discipline on congressional spending. His Republican Congress has, unsurprisingly, become headstrong and spendthrift as a result.”
Cooper continued by saying, “Mr. Bush is the first US president since James Garfield in 1881 to accept every bill that Congress sends him as if it were perfect. And Garfield only served six months in office.”
Again, Cooper wrote, “Most of the strong presidents in American history vetoed dozens, sometimes hundreds, of bills. Mr. Bush has vetoed none.”
Beyond that, according to Stephen Slivinski of the libertarian Cato Institute, “[President] Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Mr. Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years.” However, the story is even worse than that.
Jim Cooper notes that “Not only has Mr. Bush failed to veto any legislation, he has not rescinded any outlays. This lesser-known power has been used by every president since Richard Nixon except, again, for George W. Bush. Rescissions allow presidents to cut any spending programmes within larger bills as long as simple majorities in both Houses of Congress agree.
“Although this White House pretends it is powerless, former president Bill Clinton sought to rescind 163 spending items totaling $6.6 billion, and won 111 from a divided Congress, saving $3.6 billion. Mr. Bush’s father tried to rescind 169 items totaling $13.3 billion, winning 34 from a divided Congress, saving $2.3 billion. The champion is Ronald Reagan, who tried to cut 602 spending items costing $43.4 billion and won 214, again from a divided Congress, thus saving $15.6 billion.”
Cooper summarized by saying, “Mr. Bush has rescinded no programmes, saving no dollars, despite complete Republican control of Congress. The fiscal consequences of one-party government are dire. Today, there is no adult supervision of Congress. No wonder congressional ‘earmarks’-pork-barrel spending in a member’s own state or district-have multiplied to almost $24 billion annually. Mr. Bush is aiding and abetting the most expensive political logrolling in American history.”
There can now be no argument on the subject. Anyone attempting to claim that G.W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress believe in limiting government spending is pixilated! George Bush consumes tax dollars the way he once consumed booze! And, on the whole, his Republican buddies in Congress are perhaps even bigger spending sops than he is! They don’t belong in Washington; they belong in SA (Spenders Anonymous).
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