Has the GOP suddenly discovered curbing gov spending? Sure!
I love the current crop of Dems that tilt left and follow their pied piper Bernie Sanders and AOC...like the President, etal. The GOP isn't much better. The party of Reagan who once stood for smaller government has spent like drunken sailors along with the Dems.
Two major reasons:
They panicked during the pandemic and joined the paying people not to work movement.
Several decades ago, they figured that elderly people made up a huge percentage of their base, and these folks like their Social Security, Medicare and Defense spending. These three comprise well over half the US budget and account for over 81% of projected spending growth (CRFB.org).
Think the current crop of GOP idiots is going to change this? No...they'll cut a few minor programs and kick the can down the road. They divert your attention to trans issues, crime and other stuff.
Government Spending Is the Central Issue of Our Time
McCarthy, DeSantis, Pence, Haley, Scott, Christie, Ramaswamy (maybe Trump) are united on spending. It’s an accomplishment.
Daniel Henninger, WSJ
June 7, 2023 5:00 pm ET
Wonder Land: Republican presidential hopefuls Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy and maybe even Donald Trump are united on spending. All offer a much safer future than the alternative. Images: Reuters/Zuma Press Composite: Mark Kelly
At last, public spending is the central political issue of our time.
The recent negotiations between President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the debt ceiling were dismissible as a familiar Washington thing. But it wasn’t just “Washington.” Washington spending is now a proxy for a much larger, arguably once-and-for-all battle in this country between red politics and blue politics.
The reason Joe Biden and the Democrats wanted to separate the debt ceiling from the budget is that uncapped federal spending has become a matter of survival for the entire blue ecosystem—Washington, blue states and blue cities. The Democrats have become like desperate aliens in an episode of “Star Trek”: If they don’t spend, they’ll die.
Mr. McCarthy’s debt-and-spending deal was the first glimmer of a red counter-offensive, a beachhead. The speaker is not the general of this army, nor is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who understood his job was to step aside. The Republicans need to find their antispending general in the Republican presidential primary states—in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond.
For years, the GOP’s internal struggles have featured the word “RINO”—Republican in name only. I don’t want to overstate this point, but I think the RINO issue on spending is all but over. There was no serious difference on spending control between Mr. McCarthy’s allies and detractors. The speaker’s chief negotiators—Reps. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Garret Graves of Louisiana—are from red, or Republican-held, states.
Run through the names on the hats tossed into the Republican presidential ring—Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Mike Pence, Asa Hutchinson, Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy, Doug Burgum. All have achieved, or are committed to, spending control and tax restraint. Donald Trump’s commitment comes with caveats (see below).
Look at the list of GOP governors once considered presidential possibilities and the same template on spending repeats itself—Glenn Youngkin, Greg Abbott, Brian Kemp, Kristi Noem, Doug Ducey, Kim Reynolds.
Mr. McCarthy’s debt deal may have been a trailing indicator, as Washington always is, but the Republican Party is virtually united now at all levels of government on the principle of living within our financial means. Amid the conservative gloom about the culture, that should be recognized as an accomplishment.
Contrast this with today’s narrative about blue states and cities in the North and West, for whom the phrase du jour is “doom loop.” A perfect storm of left-wing activism joined to public unions in New York, California, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington has put these blue jurisdictions in the control of self-destructive progressive city councils and legislatures.
Their problems have been long in the making, but the pandemic’s two years accelerated the vulnerabilities. Unable to supply adequate housing or public services, including personal security, they are seeing their most productive inhabitants and businesses migrate to red states, fatally eroding the blue tax base.
What’s left behind are crushing public pension obligations and crumbling physical infrastructure. On a train trip from Washington to New York last weekend, our Acela stopped on a bridge over the Passaic River in New Jersey. One thought: Wow, this bridge is really rusty and losing concrete. That’s now a blue political metaphor—old and worn out.
Which brings us back to Joe Biden’s Washington and the politics of the debt deal.
Mr. Biden is being given a win for protecting his infrastructure legislation and climate spending. Break that down.
Support for the infrastructure spending was bipartisan, and it’s possible to make a case for that. Even concede for the sake of argument that preventing urban public-transportation systems from collapsing is defensible. The problem is that negotiating any such federal commitment is impossible unless Democrats agree to some restraints or ceiling on outlays, which by their own admission they never will. The purpose of the 14th Amendment gambit is to send the debt to Mars.
So what did Washington’s Democrats do next? Pass, without one Republican vote, another $370 billion in spending on the climate. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey whined that the McCarthy debt deal would slow spending on “wind, solar, all-electric vehicles, battery storage technologies that will revolutionize our energy consumption.”
In other words, notwithstanding that blue-run jurisdictions are at the outer revenue limits of their spending commitments and don’t have money to support basic services or personal security in their own cities and states, the Democratic compulsion for uncapped spending surfaced a new money-sponge, the climate.
Joe Biden said federal entitlement reform was off the table, as oddly does Donald Trump. But entitlements are untouchable anywhere blue. Just as the answer to saving Social Security is to raise the retirement age slightly, the solution to the urban pension bomb is requiring small defined contributions to health and retirement plans for new hires, which they won’t do.
The offstage smackdown between California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida’s Ron DeSantis is a useful spectacle. The 2024 election is about running the federal government on the red-state model or blue-state model, between making fiscal responsibility the national norm or extending blue bailouts until we hit bottom.