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Friday, October 21, 2005

Fiscal discipline: did it ever really exist?

Posted by: Hammer / 8:33 AM

Tony Perkins asks a dumb question in today's FRC Washington update:

However, I was taken aback by the huge promises of spending to rebuild coming from Washington - with no offsets to ensure fiscal discipline. If the federal government feels responsible for rebuilding areas that face natural disasters, that should not nullify its responsibility to taxpayers. With Hurricane Wilma now pointed toward the Florida coast, threatening even further government expenditures, the time is ripe for fiscal responsibility to return to the federal government (if it ever really existed).

Did fiscal responsibility ever exist? Yeah, and you don't have to be very old to remember it. The year was 2000, the government was awash in surplus. Candidate Gore promised to use the surplus to guarantee the solvency of Social Security. Candidate Bush promised to spend half the surplus on a tax cut for the poor and middle class (by far the vast majority of his tax cut was to go to those at the bottom).

Candidate Bush spent and spent and spent, even while cutting taxes to make the rich richer. You can't have it both ways, Tony Perkins. There is a party of financial responsibility, and you're not a part of it.

How Norquist-ed is Perkins, anyway? "If the federal government feels responsible for rebuilding areas that face natural disasters..." Is Perkins really suggesting that the federal government could -- or even should -- opt out of rebuilding the Gulf Coast?


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