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Jon Fleischman

Jon is the elected Vice Chairman, South of the California Republican Party.

 

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Today's Commentary on the News

 

Federal spending up 33% since GOP took Congress in 1994

 

by Jon Fleischman - Publisher (bio) (email)

 
1-24-2006 8:03 am

HOUSE REPUBLICANS GET AN "F" - BUT THERE IS A CHANCE TO IMPROVE
This morning, in the wee hours, I read a column from Sacramento Area Congressman Dan Lungren, in which he feels that there should be a new election for all of the GOP leadership, from Speaker on down.  But from reading the first paragraph of his column, I'm not sure he wants to do this for the right reasons.  You see, the second sentence says it all:

"The United States House of Representatives has been led by a Republican majority for more than a decade. Under that leadership the House has strengthened the economy, reduced taxes, and worked to secure the safety of future generations of Americans."

Lungren, who is 'back' in Congress, re-elected after being out of the House for over a decade, should have an outsider's perspective - I guess not. 

Let me help, if we are going to 'clean House' as he says, let's do it for one reason alone - the Republican majority in Congress has failed in its only core mission.  It receives a failing grade in the only criteria that should matter.  Under a decade of Republican leadership, has the House of Representatives substantially reduced the size and scope of the federal government?  No.  Have they reduced the size of government at all?  No.  Is the federal government larger today than at any time in the history of our democratic republic?  The numbers are staggering, and I will share them in a minute.

Lungren is not alone in drinking the proverbial cool-aid.  I recently read a column from Congressman Roy Blunt in the Wall Street Journal.  Blunt is in a three-way battle to replace Tom DeLay as Majority Leader.  His piece was called, "Party of Limited Government: Our record of accomplishment speaks for itself." 

Blunt goes on to say:

"House Republicans have cut the tax rate on capital gains and dividends, substantially lowered personal tax rates, and set in motion a plan to eliminate the death tax once and for all. In just the past year we have reformed our bankruptcy laws, placed limits and restrictions on class-action lawsuits and--for the first time since 1997--passed reforms in mandatory spending programs to reduce the federal budget deficit. And after freezing regular domestic discretionary spending the year before, we enacted a real cut in spending this year."

You know, I hear the words.  But they are just words given the failure of Congress to stop the growth of our national government.

One of Blunt's opponents, Arizona Congressman John Shadegg, is a breath of fresh air.  He is running on the truth, not on a lie.  He said in his own opinion piece in the WSJ:

"Republicans promised the American people two things in 1994. First, we promised to rein in the size and scope of the federal government. Second, we promised to clean up Washington. In recent years, we have fallen short on both counts. Total federal spending has grown by 33% since 1995, in inflation-adjusted dollars."

And there is the brutal truth.  FEDERAL SPENDING HAS GROWN BY 33% SINCE 1995.

I've attached a study from the Heritage Foundation with all kinds of cool color charts and graphs that you can read or print.  But here are a few highlights that show that the debate in Congress shouldn't be about lobbyists, but about the steel of a Republican Congress to do what they say, instead of growing government.

FEDERAL BUDGET: ($'s are in billions)
1995
Total spending: $1,516
Total revenue: $1,352
2005
Total spending: $2,470
Total revenue: $2,154

FEDERAL SPENDING BY HOUSEHOLD
1995
Approximately $18,500
2005
Approximately $22,000

  • Federal spending has increased twice as fast under President Bush as it had under President Clinton!
From 2001-2003, Defense and 9/11 account for less than half of all spending increases.  So this is not just the cost of the "War on Terror" - it is much more.

DISCRETIONARY SPENDING
1998
~$650 billion.
2005
~$975 billion

ENTITLEMENT SPENDING
1995
~$790 billion
2005
~$1,325 billion

This one is truly amazing:

NUMBER OF ANNUAL PORK PROJECTS
1995
1439
2005
13999

PORK PROJECT SPENDING
1995
~$10 billion
2005
~$27 billion

The attached report goes into much more detail, and includes some ugly predictions on future budgets if Congress doesn't reverse this course. 

I am not trying to sound dire.  We have a great nation, and it has a vibrant economy. 

I am just aghast that Republicans in Congress have adopted some sort 'turn a blind eye' strategy.  We have a majority of Republicans, and there have to be a few conservatives out there.  It's time to have the real votes on stopping this madness.  If our Republican majority can't literally STOP the growth in the federal government, we probably don't deserve to run the institution.  If the government is going to grow so much, what was the point of taking 'control' of the House?

There is an opportunity to have a sea-change -- and that is with the election of John Shadegg.  He is considered by many to be a 'dark-horse' -- but he is right on, and understands that our Republican Congress has failed by the ONLY measure that matters.  As a member of the Republican Study Committee, he is ready to lead a charge to change that... Go Shadegg!

Have a great day!

Jon

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Attachment:
     Heritage Study on Growth in Federal Government

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