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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

About-Face of the Gingrich Brigade

Republicans love big government! It's not very often that I'm tempted to insert expletives into my posts, but this is certainly an exception. God damnit, stop voting for them!

from The New York Times

The Revolution that Wasn't
Sheryl Gay Stolberg

WASHINGTON — If the history of the Republican revolution were being written today, a single overarching question would have to be answered: Whatever happened to the promise of smaller government?

That question was asked again last week, when President Bush unveiled a $2.57 trillion budget for 2006, the largest in the nation's history. The cuts he called for, in areas like veterans' medical care, farm subsidies and vocational training, were met in Washington with doubts that they would ever get through the Republican Congress.

"Republicans have lost their way," lamented Newt Gingrich, the government-slashing firebrand of a decade ago.

The About Face of the Gingrich BrigadeIn 1995, a band of 73 freshman Republicans swept into the House of Representatives, with Mr. Gingrich as their speaker. Flush with ideological zeal and determined to get government off the backs of the people, as Ronald Reagan would say, they pushed through a budget resolution that called for eliminating scores of programs and three federal departments.

Their fervor was so politically potent that in 1996, a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, declared, "The era of big government is over."

Yet government has only grown. The Cato Institute, a libertarian research institution, says overall federal spending has increased twice as fast under Mr. Bush as under Mr. Clinton. At the same time, the federal deficit is projected to hit a record high of $427 billion this year.

These trends seem likely to continue. The White House estimated last week that the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries, originally projected at $400 billion from 2004 to 2013, would, in fact, be $724 billion from 2006 to 2015. Republicans called for scaling back the benefit, but on Friday, Mr. Bush said no and vowed to veto any changes to the Medicare bill...

read more

Click on the picture inset to see the full size graph. I'd love to have it printed on a poster. It would be so useful for beating people over the head with.

Props: Marginal Revolution, Mises Economics Blog

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