Look Beyond the Bush/GOP Rhetoric on Deficits and Spending
During the upcoming State of the Union and the campaign this year, we'll be hearing a lot from the GOP about the need to control spending as the critical element in dealing with our growing deficits. But keep several things in mind while you hear such claptrap from the GOP.
Our deficits are not because of out-of-control spending: According to reports from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the primary reasons for our deficits are the shrinking revenue collections at all levels of government, even two years into an expansion. Bush through his tax cuts is doing what many in the GOP have wanted all along; he is bleeding the government of its revenue, and then wants to say we must cut spending.
Domestic spending is not exploding: Again, the CBPP points out that domestic discretionary spending is not growing, but actually shrinking. What is going up markedly since 2001 are spending on wars, homeland security, and the Pentagon.
Bush and the GOP have full responsibility for this: Aside from being in total control of the government for over a year, and having been able to pass three revenue-draining tax cuts since 2001, Bush has yet to veto a single bill. If he doesn't like the spending, he has no one to blame but himself and his own party.
So look beyond the Bush/GOP feigned concern about spending and take a close look at the reasons for the deficits and realize that they result not from rampant domestic spending, but from policy choices on where to spend and how to bleed the government dry.