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The myth of Republican fiscal conservancy
Posted by: mcq on Friday, February 17, 2006

Brian Riedl gives us a pretty damning look at the Bush administration's fiscal conservatism over the past 5 years.

Despite all the breathless reporting about "deep cuts" and "slashed" spending, the numbers say no such thing. Reidl points to three myths and then the reality:
Myth 1: Massive education cuts. From 2001 through 2006, nominal education spending will more than double — from $35 billion to $84 billion. That is not a misprint.

K-12 education spending increased from $23 billion to $40 billion, and college student financial aid skyrocketed from $10 billion to $40 billion. The remaining money was spent on research and general education aids.

Yet when the president's budget called for shaving $2 billion off the large discretionary education programs, Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican, called the request "scandalous," and various news articles questioned if schools could carry out their missions without another funding increase. Apparently a 137 percent budget increase isn't enough.
Run that number by again: 137% increase in educational spending since 2001 and it is a Republican calling the tiny spending cut "scandalous". What's scandalous is many of whom have this attitude calling themselves Republicans.
Myth 2: Anti-poverty spending cuts. From 2001 through 2005, nominal antipoverty spending rose 39 percent, and is set to increase another 5 percent in 2006. In those four years, Medicaid caseloads increased by 10 million and Food Stamps caseloads by 8 million as their budgets expanded 40 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Combined payments from the refundable Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) surged from $27 billion to $48 billion.

All four categories of anti-poverty spending — health care, food, housing and cash aid — grew by more than double the inflation rate, and significantly faster than under Bill Clinton.

Overall, anti-poverty spending reached 16 percent of the federal budget for the first time ever in 2002 and has remained above that since. The new budget reconciliation law won't change that; the only significant antipoverty program reform merely lowered Medicaid's projected five-year growth rate from 41 percent to 40 percent.

Still, a recent New Republic staff editorial, bizarrely and without supporting data, asserted recent budgets "single out the poor for punishment" and therefore "the poor consistently lose out." This increase in government dependency among Food Stamps and Medicaid is nothing to celebrate, and it cannot be addressed by those denying what the numbers clearly show.
I'm not at all surprised to find the New Republic lamenting the "cuts". I expect that from them. However what wasn't expected was to see a Republican administration outspend Bill Clinton's administration. So much for the progress made in welfare reform, budget balancing and other "Republican" issues, huh?

Myth 3: Slashed nonsecurity discretionary spending. Reports panicking about a proposed freeze in 2007 fail to provide any context. Even after a 2007 freeze, these programs will have risen 42 percent in Mr. Bush's first six years in the White House, versus 20 percent in Mr. Clinton's first six years. There could be several reasons this is not reported and blogged.

One is that education and discretionary budget analyses misleadingly focus on single-year trends without providing the proper context of their large growth since 2001.

Another reason is that antipoverty spending increases are not typically covered by reporters and bloggers. That could be because these entitlement programs' budgets grow automatically without any congressional votes.

For years, Medicaid's large, automatic increases were largely ignored by the press. Yet when Congress recently enacted legislation to scale future automatic increases from 7.1 percent down to 7 percent annually, this "cut" got disproportionate media scrutiny because it required a separate vote.

Plus, coverage of most spending issues is also influenced by media-savvy activists, who blast any spending level as insufficient in hopes of securing additional increases.
This addresses the elephant in the room ... literally. The GOP continues to ignore this just like the Democrats do. Look at the automatic incease precentage for Medicaid: 7%. And, with total control of the legislative and executive branches in Republican hands we've seen this spending increase 42% in contrast to 20% under a Democrat president.

Is it any wonder why, at a minimum, those of us who want to see some fiscal sanity restored are coming to be less and less opposed to either one part of the Congress or the executive branch being in Democratic hands? Perhaps then, based in pure negative opposition politics, we can force a semblance of fiscal sanity through gridlock. Because we certainly haven't and apparently aren't going to see it under a Republican administration and Congress.

UPDATE [Jon Henke]

Don Boudreaux adds an important observation...
Why do self-styled "progressives" hate Bush II so intensely? It can't be because he's not feeding the state that these 'progressives' so cherish and trust. Why do so many conservatives admire Bush II? It can't be because of his commitment to smaller government. He clearly has no such commitment.

If the period from November 1994 through now doesn't convince you that politics is driven overwhelmingly by special-interest groups in league with unprincipled, power-lusting politicians, you're a hopeless romantic — or, worse: you're willfully blind.
Liberals are angry at conservatives, even though Bush isn't a (fiscal) conservative. Conservatives are angry at liberals, even though the President from the (fiscal) conservative party is out-spending even the liberals. The only group whose views of government have been legitimized in recent years is the libertarians, who never expected politicians to rise above the structural flaws and perverse incentives of government in the first place.
 
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As far as the lament of W. being more liberal than the Liberals it would appear that Liberal vs. Conservative does not define the political divide of the past decade-and-a-half. Face it; while W. is a model of willy-nilly spending without discretion the Clinton era (the Liberals’ saint) was a model of remarkable restraint amidst plenty of complaints of crucial government services being underfunded. Nevertheless, Liberals continue to revere Clinton and Conservatives support W. unflinchingly. Why?

My suggestion is that it has more to do with "My Party, right or wrong". Hence Democrats will only support other Democrats. Likewise Republicans. Substance is of little importance.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
"Myth"? That implies a plausible story explaining an otherwise inexplicable phenomenon.

"Fantasy" is more like it ... everyone knows there’s been no such thing that could be described as "fiscally conservative" to come out of this administration, but gee, wouldn’t it be nice!
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
Liberals are angry at Bush, even though Bush isn’t a conservative on spending. I am a conservative who admires Bush, even though he isn’t a conservative on spending and even though I dearly wish he was and will be supporting in 2008 a candidate who seems to be significantly better on spending.

Government spending is not the be-all and end-all to a sizeable portion of the voting public. It is not to me, even though I do wish it was getting a higher priority in the minds of voters inclined to support smaller government.
 
Written By: Gerry
URL: http://
Good point, Gerry. I’ve amended my part of the post to reflect the fiscal focus.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Is it any wonder why, at a minimum, those of us who want to see some fiscal sanity restored are coming to be less and less opposed to either one part of the Congress or the executive branch being in Democratic hands? Perhaps then, based in pure negative opposition politics, we can force a semblance of fiscal sanity through gridlock. Because we certainly haven’t and apparently aren’t going to see it under a Republican administration and Congress.
Actually, yes it is a wonder. In this post you spent a considerable amount of verbiage attacking Bush for not stopping automatic budget increases (i.e., for not making positive efforts to slow the automatic growth of government). In this post and an earlier post, you went to considerable effort to prove that, regardless of any other action we take, if we do not take positive action to stop these automatic increases, then we are screwed.

How does gridlock force a "semblence of fiscal sanity," when gridlock will, by definition, prevent the positive action that we must take to slow the growth of government?

Perhaps if you were arguing that a Democratic victoryt in some branch or the other would force the Reps to come back to their senses, then this post might make sense. But gridlock is only good for preventing Congress from adding further to the increase in spending, it does nothing to prevent the disastrous increases already built into the system by law from occurring.

We are far beyond the point that gridlock does anything at all to help.
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
McQ and Jon,

Maybe I’m just obsessed with how we communicate with each other about political topics, but this post (and the update) were on point, full of specifics, and absent inflammatory language. To me, posts with this tone are so much more effective than those that use emotional language. Thank you both for goring sacred cows (nicely).
 
Written By: Jimmy
URL: http://
Why do self-styled "progressives" hate Bush II so intensely? It can’t be because he’s not feeding the state that these ’progressives’ so cherish and trust. Why do so many conservatives admire Bush II? It can’t be because of his commitment to smaller government. He clearly has no such commitment.
I have never met the man who asked these questions. But based on the questions, the man is an idiot.

Bush is not "feeding the state." (And no - progressives do not cheirsh and trust the state. Do you think it is a bunch of conservatives out there demanding hearings on the state’s warrantless domestic spying?) Bush is borrowing money from the Chinese and other foreigners in order to finance tax cuts for the wealthy. Progressives hate Bush because he is burdening our children with massive debts that they will never be able to pay. Why is this so hard to understand?

Why do conservatives love Bush? Easy. Because he is "cutting" taxes for the wealthy, because he is against gays, and because they believe he is a Born Again. Simple, really. And because most conservatives believe they will witness the rapture in their lifetime, they do not care about the long-term implications of Bush’s policies. No one will be here to feel them. Plus, conservatives need a daddy figure in their lives, and Bush fills that role.



 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Did anyone just hear that? I swear I just heard some braying from the westerly direction.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
How does gridlock force a "semblence of fiscal sanity," when gridlock will, by definition, prevent the positive action that we must take to slow the growth of government?
Additional spending bills are less likely to be passed (that’s the discretionary side of things) and, as we saw with Clinton, the budget was balanced and meaningful welfare reform was passed.

In fact, it seems to me that a Dem pres and a Republican Congress may be the best of all worlds because Republicans then seem to rediscover their purpose (or should I say their principles) with no apology. For some reason when they have it all they’re almost apologetic about that and pander to the left horribly (a left that isn’t going to vote for them if they passed everything in the Democratic platform for heaven sake).

As for non-discretionary spending ... if you can force welfare reform on a Democratic president, why in the world couldn’t you also force reform in non-discretionary spending? Again, it seems Republicans gain a will of sorts when they don’t have all the power.
Perhaps if you were arguing that a Democratic victoryt in some branch or the other would force the Reps to come back to their senses, then this post might make sense. But gridlock is only good for preventing Congress from adding further to the increase in spending, it does nothing to prevent the disastrous increases already built into the system by law from occurring.
I agree with both of your points and probably should have spent more time (unfortunately I didn’t have it this morning) developing those points. Sometimes I assume too much when dashing off a post.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Because he is "cutting" taxes for the wealthy, because he is against gays, and because they believe he is a Born Again. Simple, really.
So are the canards, MK. Because someone is for the maintenance of traditional marriage, they aren’t necessarily "against gays". The fact that taxpayers got proportional tax cuts all across the spectrum destroys the "tax cuts for the rich" nonsense (oh, and yes, it’s true, those who didn’t pay taxes got no tax cuts ... that’s how it works). As for the "Born Again" crack, it’s simply stereotypical Christianity bashing by the same part of the spectrum who claims we all need to be sensitive toward muslims and shouldn’t have published those cartoons.

IOW, more of the usual throwaway rhetoric that is known to eminate from both sides of your mouth, MK.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Liberals are angry at conservatives, even though Bush isn’t a (fiscal) conservative. Conservatives are angry at liberals, even though the President from the (fiscal) conservative party is out-spending even the liberals

Because the main issue is not a monetary one. In a world where 9/11 never happened, the main fights on this admin would’ve been on fiscal policies (indeed, in the pre-9/11 days the tax cut was a major debate)

However, 9/11 did happen and there you go. I dislike the massive spending increases but WoT and Iraq trump all other considerations for now.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"However, 9/11 did happen and there you go. I dislike the massive spending increases but WoT and Iraq trump all other considerations for now."

So we should spend, spend, spend on domestic programs? WTF?
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
In fact, it seems to me that a Dem pres and a Republican Congress may be the best of all worlds because Republicans then seem to rediscover their purpose (or should I say their principles) with no apology. For some reason when they have it all they’re almost apologetic about that and pander to the left horribly (a left that isn’t going to vote for them if they passed everything in the Democratic platform for heaven sake).
Oh, if that’s what you mean, count me in!
As for non-discretionary spending ... if you can force welfare reform on a Democratic president, why in the world couldn’t you also force reform in non-discretionary spending? Again, it seems Republicans gain a will of sorts when they don’t have all the power.


I’d like to believe this would happen, but the problem with it is, well, old people. Old people, or even middle aged people, seem to become absolutely unhinged when talking about SS reform, saying absoultely idiotic crap like "Well, as long as you don’t touch mine, or my children’s, or my grand-children’s . . ."

It’s like the lefty ones feel that somehow SS is the great defining factor that makes America what it is and Osama (or someone truly evil, like Dobson) will have won if we reform it. And the righties are so p*ssed that they had to pay SS taxes all their life that they are d*mned-well gonna get the full reimbursement, no matter who suffers in the process.

Hard to be optimistic :-P

 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
I can understand why some conservatives, such as Gerry, would be able to overlook flaws in certain areas instead to focus on (perceived) strengths in other areas. The thing is, I cant think of many ’conservative’ issues that Bush is any better on.

Perhaps some are willing to downplay the lack of fiscal-conservatism, in favor of focuses on other perceived conservative strengths. The problem is, it appears to me, is that there arent very many ’conservative’ ideals that Bush has truly advanced.

Fiscal policy and spending certainly isnt the only indicator of government restraint and limited government. However the administration has only really expanded government power and reach during his time in office. So that one is out. Religious-conservative social values? It should be abundantly clear to everyone that the social-conservatism of this administration has largely been a show in order to pander to religious voters. Notice how Bush’s push for a marriage amendment disappeared once the election was over? It was never a priority, except in-so-far as it would rally the social conservative base. Immigration? He is obviously not with his party on that one.

Outside of the neo-conservative types, I honestly do not see what this administration, and the current Republican party, has offered to conservatives.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Unknown, you need to seriously consider the following proposition: Bush is agreeing to any number of things, such as CFR and pork, to buy himself the legislative immunity to prosecute WWIV even as effectively (not nearly enough) as he is. This was even more true before the Republicans won the Senate, but is still necessary with so many "mavericks" willing to put their personal political gain over the country’s security.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Because someone is for the maintenance of traditional marriage, they aren’t necessarily "against gays".
Maybe, but being for “traditional marriage” does not exclude being for non-traditional marriage. Why can’t you have both?

I believe what MK was referring to, and Mr. Ultra can correct me if I’m wrong, are those who against gay marriage. Yes?
Those who wish to deny gays the ability to marry, wish to deny them liberties that everyone else enjoys.
And denying one’s liberties may not be “against” in your opinion, but they definitely “against” in mine.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
However, 9/11 did happen and there you go. I dislike the massive spending increases but WoT and Iraq trump all other considerations for now.
Unfortunately the massive spending which is going to kill us in the future (if you think Europe has high taxes, hide and watch) isn’t that being spent for the WoT or Iraq.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"Bush is agreeing to any number of things, such as CFR and pork, to buy himself the legislative immunity to prosecute WWIV even as effectively (not nearly enough) as he is. This was even more true before the Republicans won the Senate, but is still necessary with so many "mavericks" willing to put their personal political gain over the country’s security."
SDN, that’s as cynical a take as I’ve contemplated, and I’m pretty d*mn cynical these days.

In essence you are saying - at worst - that we don’t have a majority of people willing to stand up and fight against terrorism and cruel, despotic dictators, but they will tolerate it if we buy them off with short-term goodies. At best you are implying that the populace just doesn’t give a d*mn either way.

If this is true, then this country really is beyond hope and I’ve got to adjust my plans to move away.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
I believe what MK was referring to, and Mr. Ultra can correct me if I’m wrong, are those who against gay marriage. Yes?
So was I. That doesn’t make me ’against gays’. I have no problem with civil unions for gays. But marriage has a specific traditional meaning.
Those who wish to deny gays the ability to marry, wish to deny them liberties that everyone else enjoys.
Again, if all we’re worried about are the liberties in question, civil unions work just fine don’t they? And that’s an issue for the states, anyway.
And denying one’s liberties may not be “against” in your opinion, but they definitely “against” in mine.
I don’t see it Pogue. I’m not at all against gays enjoying the same benefits as I do ... but I’m not going to call it a "marriage".

Seems like a reasonable compromise to me, and it certainly doesn’t preclude gays from those liberties in question nor does in mean I’m against them, does it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"And the righties are so p*ssed that they had to pay SS taxes all their life that they are d*mned-well gonna get the full reimbursement, no matter who suffers in the process."
Yes Terry, God forbid that anyone actually get even money back out. That’s simply unreasonable! Far better to figure out how to minimize our losses in order to perpetuate a flawed system that no one (assuming actual thinking was performed) would tolerate from a private entity.

Sometimes trying to straddle the fence in order to get along with everyone is simply foolish. This is one of those times.

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Yes Terry, God forbid that anyone actually get even money back out. That’s simply unreasonable! Far better to figure out how to minimize our losses in order to perpetuate a flawed system that no one (assuming actual thinking was performed) would tolerate from a private entity.
Hmmmm, reread what I wrote. I wasn’t advocating the position, I was describing the position.
 
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
Terry, when you add "no matter who suffers in the process" to your description it becomes commentary and appears to be critical of the position that it is reasonable to get back what one puts in.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Seems like a reasonable compromise to me, and it certainly doesn’t preclude gays from those liberties in question nor does in mean I’m against them, does it?
Maybe it does. You’re not a bigot, I know that from reading your post’s over the last year. But who are you to define liberties for other people, when said liberties do not affect your own? This is the essence of libertarianism, right? And if gays want to marry, and if their marriage does not affect you, then why would you wish to deny it?
But marriage has a specific traditional meaning.
Yes, but traditions change. Just look at the calendar and go down the list of celebrations we as a culture have decided the appropriate celebratory meaning… Christmas trees were once pagan symbols, so was mistletoe. Easter ham, St. Patrick’s day, Labor day, Mardi Gras, SuperBowl Sunday, and on and on… Traditions change with a changing culture. There’s nothing wrong with that. As there is nothing wrong with Billy and Jimbo getting hitched.
Again, if all we’re worried about are the liberties in question, civil unions work just fine don’t they?
Don’t they!? Well to advocates, they certainly don’t. Again, who are you to say?

If you speak of adoption. If you speak of “slippery slope” regarding polygamy, bestiality, or anything else you might imagine, your concerns may be valid and may be worthy of consideration.

But if “marriage” of another sort affects you not, why care?
I don’t see it Pogue. I’m not at all against gays enjoying the same benefits as I do ... but I’m not going to call it a "marriage".
Well you can call it cherry pie if you want. Just don’t tell them what to call it.



 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Got it in one, Unknown. And we won’t have that majority until the death toll climbs one H*LL of a lot higher. At least 50,000+.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Yes, but traditions change.
That’s the fight, isn’t it Pogue? That doesn’t, however, mean a traditionalist is "against" gays as you tried to intimate.
Don’t they!? Well to advocates, they certainly don’t. Again, who are you to say?
One more time, if the "liberties" in question are equal after a civil union, they work ... if the purpose is to have "equal liberty".

My guess is that any ’advocate’ which wouldn’t be satisfied with equal liberty isn’t concerned about liberty to begin with.
If you speak of adoption. If you speak of “slippery slope” regarding polygamy, bestiality, or anything else you might imagine, your concerns may be valid and may be worthy of consideration.

But if “marriage” of another sort affects you not, why care?
I guess I assumed you’d figure out that marriage, as traditionally defined as "union between a man and a woman" , would preclude polygamy, bestiality or "anything else" without me having to state it.

Otherwise it wouldn’t be "the union of a man and a woman" would it?

You can take the argument from there I assume.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
That’s the fight, isn’t it Pogue? That doesn’t, however, mean a traditionalist is "against" gays as you tried to intimate.
Yes it is the fight, McQ. But it is a fight on a battlefield that need not be. Because there is not an incursion on one tradition by another. There is no demarcation. That is why when one sectarian wishes to expand traditional boundaries of it’s own that do not expend upon traditional values of another, the wanted limitations of the latter is considered hostile.

My guess is that any ’advocate’ which wouldn’t be satisfied with equal liberty isn’t concerned about liberty to begin with.
Right back atcha. Those who wish to deny gay marriage aren’t concerned with liberty.

One more time, if the "liberties" in question are equal after a civil union, they work ... if the purpose is to have "equal liberty".
Then why have “marriage” be state sponsored at all? I presume that you are like me, and would have state involvement in “marriage” be replaced with “civil unions” for everyone. Then the debate would be moot, wouldn’t it?

Otherwise it wouldn’t be "the union of a man and a woman" would it?
I don’t know. You’d have to ask Billy or Jimbo… y’know, which one was the woman. ;)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Then why have “marriage” be state sponsored at all?
Goody. Can we get rid of all other state support of child rearing?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
So are the canards, MK. Because someone is for the maintenance of traditional marriage, they aren’t necessarily "against gays". The fact that taxpayers got proportional tax cuts all across the spectrum destroys the "tax cuts for the rich" nonsense (oh, and yes, it’s true, those who didn’t pay taxes got no tax cuts ... that’s how it works). As for the "Born Again" crack, it’s simply stereotypical Christianity bashing by the same part of the spectrum who claims we all need to be sensitive toward muslims and shouldn’t have published those cartoons.
Being against gay marriage is - today at least - a socially acceptable way to be against gays, just as 40 years ago being against interraical marriage was a socially acceptable way one could be anti-minority. 40 years from now it will become accepted wisdom that those who were against gay marriage were anti-homosexual, just as we now recognize that those who were against interracial marriage were really just being racist. This isn’t complicated. (Unless, of course, you want to make a non-racist argument for prohibiting interracial marriage.)

As for tax cuts, if Bush really wanted to benefit all classes, he would cut the payroll tax, not the income tax. But that hasn’t happened. Why? Because the payroll tax is a regressive tax; someone earning $50,000 pays a greater percentage of her wages under the payroll tax than someone making $1,000,000. And Bush is against cutting regressive taxes, and for cutting progressive taxes.

Under a Democratic administration, the rich would benefit less from tax policy than they do under Bush.
"Some of the tax cuts that were enacted in 2001 are still being phased in," stated the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "These taxes are heavily tilted to those at the top of the income scale. These tax cuts include the elimination of the tax on the nation’s largest estates, as well as two tax cuts that started to take effect on January 1, 2006 and will go almost entirely to high-income households.

"The Tax Policy Center reports that 97 percent of the tax cuts from these two measures will go to people with incomes above $200,000. As a result, the tax cuts ultimately will be even more skewed toward high-income households than they were in 2005."
And at the same time that Bush is cutting taxes for the rich, he is ending programs that benefit primarily the poor and middle class.

Finally, I want the cartoons published. I also want "Pi** Jesus" shown. Wingers, by contrast, want anti-Christian messages censored.

As for wingers loving Bush because he is Born Again, if you think that’s stereotyping, you have a screw loose. Of course that is why wingers love him. Walk into an evangelical church and ask them if they love Bush and why. That is the answer you will get: "He is one of us."

Funny, but your whining about being stereotyped makes me think you may have something in common with those crazies running amok in the streets in Cairo and Damascus and Beirut and Karachi.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Unknown, you need to seriously consider the following proposition: Bush is agreeing to any number of things, such as CFR and pork, to buy himself the legislative immunity to prosecute WWIV even as effectively (not nearly enough) as he is.
Uh-huh. I doubt it. Apart from CFR, on which he did a 180, Bush is pretty much just implementing the stuff he’d declared for already. NCLB, for example, was a part of his 2000 campaign. The Medicare Drug Bill was created and passed in the period in which his ratings were strong and he had no need for vote-buying giveaways worth trillions in future liabilities.

"Compassionate conservatism" always meant "big government Republican". Bush is essentially a Religious Rockefeller Republican.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
"Compassionate conservatism" always meant "big government Republican". Bush is essentially a Religious Rockefeller Republican.
Liberals are angry at Bush, even though Bush isn’t a conservative on spending. I am a conservative who admires Bush, even though he isn’t a conservative on spending and even though I dearly wish he was and will be supporting in 2008 a candidate who seems to be significantly better on spending.
These are interesting times.

Wingers like to smear those "who do not love Bush" as liberals and therefore for reckless government spending. Wingers have long characterized liberals as profligate spenders of the public treasury. In spite of Bush’s out-of-control spending, it is the liberals who are reckless, not Bush.

At the same time, when it comes to Bush, wingers admire Bush in spite of his spending habits, or, more likely, because of them. Indeed, that is the message of the two quotes, above.

There was a time when this kind of thinking was labeled for what it is: hypocrisy. There was even a saying about people living in glass houses. But that was a long time ago.

Now, wingers have no problem condemning in their opponents what they embrace in their own. If a liberal spends government money, he is a moral degenerate. If a winger does, his a moral visionary.

The hate many wingers have for liberals is a self hate. They perceive liberals as big government spenders. They hate liberals for it. Yet they themselves worship a man who is himself the biggest government spender of all: Bush. Their hate of liberals thus becomes a hate of themselves. Which, of course, explains their anger.

As Kane said today in another thread on this site:
I hate liberals


Of course he does. He hates in himself what he perceives in his political enemies.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Exactly who are you saying is hypocritical, MK? Me? Or just a generalized "them"?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Being against gay marriage is - today at least - a socially acceptable way to be against gays, just as 40 years ago being against interraical marriage was a socially acceptable way one could be anti-minority.
Boy they just keep on coming don’t they MK?

No, it is not a "socially acceptable way to be against gays", any more than being against ploygamy is a socially acceptable way to be against muslims.

Perhaps, instead, it is a way to be FOR traditional marriage and against it’s corruption.

But that would be inconvenient to your faux premise, wouldn’t it?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Perhaps, instead, it is a way to be FOR traditional marriage and against it’s corruption
Perhaps another day you can enlighten me on how gay marriage would corrupt traditional marriage.
I look forward to that.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Perhaps another day you can enlighten me on how gay marriage would corrupt traditional marriage.
If traditional marriage is - as I stated many times above - the union of a man and a woman, and if some are calling the union of a man and a man, "marriage", then that would be a corruption of the traditional concept of marriage, wouldn’t it?

I’ll tell you what, based on that syllogism, perhaps you can enlighten me as to how it wouldn’t be a corruption of the traditonal concept of marriage?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
If traditional marriage is - as I stated many times above - the union of a man and a woman, and if some are calling the union of a man and a man, "marriage", then that would be a corruption of the traditional concept of marriage, wouldn’t it?
No.

If my traditional marriage is between me, a man, and my wife, a woman, and if a man and another man are calling their union “marriage”, then how would their concept of marriage corrupt the traditional meaning of marriage between me and my wife?
I’ll tell you what, based on that syllogism, perhaps you can enlighten me as to how it wouldn’t be a corruption of the traditonal concept of marriage?
Cool. Two birds with one stone.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
If my traditional marriage is between me, a man, and my wife, a woman, and if a man and another man are calling their union “marriage”, then how would their concept of marriage corrupt the traditional meaning of marriage between me and my wife?
Huh uh.

Your marriage isn’t the issue (and never has been, except apparently to you). You personally can call it whatever you want, and you’re welcome to call a union between a man and a man whatever you want. However doing so won’t change the fight or make your characterization accurate culturally or, for that matter, legally.

It’s a meta issue - the concept of marriage shared by this culture is agreed by the majority to be the union between a man and a woman, not a man and a man.

That’s the fight ....

Now you can continue to throw this red herring you’ve developed out there, but that isn’t nor has it ever been the issue.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Whatever. Somehow the actions of others, actions that do not affect you, have prompted condemnation from the “libertarian” in you. Not a traditional libertarian position, huh? I still don’t know why you would care if Billy and Jimbo get hitched.
Now you can continue to throw this red herring you’ve developed out there, but that isn’t nor has it ever been the issue.
Hey, man. I’m just commenting on another comment. A frequent occurrence for many commenters on many threads.
Funny how it only seems to bother you when your losing the debate.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Funny how it only seems to bother you when your losing the debate.
What debate?

Changing the subject isn’t debate.
I still don’t know why you would care if Billy and Jimbo get hitched.
It doesn’t, as long as they don’t try to call it marriage. Civil unions "hitch" people too.

Unlike you, Pogue, I’ve come to understand that words actually mean specific things and marriage, as it is understood here is specifically defined in this cultural as meaning the union of a man and a woman.

Now you may not like that, and you may want to change the meaning (or as you’ve been trying, the subject), but that doesn’t change what it presently means to the majority of people out there.

And that is what the fight is about. Billy and Jimbo are no threat to me if they get "hitched" as long as they call it something other than marriage. They can adopt, leave their worldly goods to one another and have all the benefits you and I enjoy in our marriage.

What I won’t concede to them or you is redefining marriage to accomdate your wants.

So there’s the compromise. Take it or leave it.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
What debate?
Heh. Following libertarian principles is tough, isn’t it?
Unlike you, Pogue, I’ve come to understand that words actually mean specific things and marriage, as it is understood here is specifically defined in this cultural as meaning the union of a man and a woman.
Fine.
Unlike you, McQ, I’ve come to understand that we live in an ever changing culture. And words and celebrations change with them. You obviously don’t like that, which is why you decided you wish to limit liberties. Because…
Billy and Jimbo are no threat to me if they get "hitched" as long as they call it something other than marriage.
Which still leaves the question, “If Billy and Jimbo get “married”, it threatens you how?” Right then…
What I won’t concede to them or you is redefining marriage to accomdate your wants.
Because it’s not about my wants, or yours. It’s about theirs. And for some reason, they decided that “civil unions” isn’t good enough. And since letting them call it marriage means hill of beans to me, why should I care? I don’t care what they call it. They can call a bidet a drinking fountain if they wish… I don’t care.
So there’s the compromise. Take it or leave it.
Heh. That’s funny. You’re the one that’s going to have to take it. Because I believe, with our changing culture, gay “marriage” will some day soon be a reality. And it still won’t threaten you.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
You obviously don’t like that, which is why you decided you wish to limit liberties
What liberties have I "decided" I wish to limit?

You continue to contend that is the case when I’ve agreed they should enjoy every liberty of marriage without being able to co-opt the word and concept.

I have to conclude, given your insistance that I’m all about limiting liberties that this isn’t about liberties at all, but instead about having your way.

That has nothing whatsoever to do with ’libertarian principles’ and is more analogous to a foot-stomping, breath-holding tantrum than reasonable argument.
“If Billy and Jimbo get “married”, it threatens you how?”
And your silly question remains silly no matter how many times you attempt to rewrite it.

Marriage has a specific meaning and it doesn’t include "Billy and Jimbo".

Get over it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
You continue to contend that is the case when I’ve agreed they should enjoy every liberty of marriage without being able to co-opt the word and concept.
What concept? That marriage is between one man and one woman? That’s a religious and ethnocentric concept.

"Marriage" means anything we define it to mean. Historically, it’s meant one man/one woman, one man and many women, same sex unions, etc. One man and one woman is nothing more than a Judeo-Christian definition that’s been codified.

I’m completely open to the argument that government should get out of the business of marriage altogether and leave that to religion, but that’s just not going to happen. Since that is the case, marriage is nothing more than a legal contract recognized by the government. As a legal contract, there’s no (non judeo-christian) moral reason whatsoever for the government to restrict it to one man/one woman.

I’m not sure why you have the impression that "marriage has a specific meaning", but that’s just patently not true. History is replete with alternate definitions. Marriage has a specific meaning to some people, and a wholly different meaning to other people. Our government has simply codified one definition of marriage, and excluded some people on that basis.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

 
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