I read a pretty good summary this morning of the fiscal state of our federal government from the past 25 years:
If you’re a moderate Republican you probably believe in smaller, more effective government and sound fiscal policy.
So – in the last 25 years who increased the size of the Federal government the least?
Reagan increased discretionary spending from $307.9 billion to $488.8 – an increase of 58.75%. At the same time, the GDP price deflator increased from 56.105 to 79.433 for an increase of 41.56%. That makes Reagan’s total increase in discretionary spending 14.54%.
Clinton increased discretionary spending from $539.4 billion to $614.8 – an increase of 13.97%. At the same time, the GDP price deflator increased from 88.204 to 100.687 far an increase of 14.15%. That makes Clinton’s total increase in discretionary spending -.18% (Yes you read that right; a Democrat actually shrank discretionary spending).
Bush increased discretionary spending from $649.3 billion to $967.9- an increase of 49.06%. At the same time, the GDP price deflator increased from 101.507 to 114.048 far an increase of 12.35%. That makes Bush’s total increase in discretionary spending 36.71%.
So, in the last 25 years, one President has controlled spending and increasing the size of government – Clinton.
The post continues in discussing tax policy during this time period.
After adjusting for inflation using the GDP price deflator, Reagan’s revenues from individual taxpayers increased 22% and Bush’s have actually decreased 16%. Clinton’s increased 81%.
The author also reminds us that it does cost money for a well-run country, a fact that some don’t want to acknowledge.
I would like you to think about these facts during the next few weeks. Ask yourself if it is worth it to have this country running well and if you really believe that these current tax cuts are “paying for themselves”. And don’t forget that we are borrowing enormous amounts from foreign countries at the same time to keep this country running and that one day, the bill will come due from all of this borrowing.
Start with the fiscal mess. With their relentless tax cutting, the Bush administration and the Congress have cut revenue collections to historically low levels. Recent reports of a revenue boom are overstated, as revenue growth remains well below its historical average. That’s why we’re looking at a budget deficit of around $300 billion this year.
Moreover, the current deficits are child’s play compared to what’s coming, when future entitlement obligations ensure that tax increases or program cuts will be forthcoming. So part two of this strategy is to make sure tax increases are off the table so we’ll be forced to cut programs like Medicare and Social Security.
They call it “starving the beast” but it’s really their own version of “cut and run.” Slash the budget, keep spending freely while you’re in charge, then run from the inevitable mess that’s coming.
I don’t view this as acting in a responsible, fiscally-conservative manner. Do you?