Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Specter Assures Democrat Win

Arlen (Spectre) Specter, (Rino-Scotland) is among the Republican Senate leaders who will assure a Democratic majority in the House for next year.

Arlen just can't stop spending Other People's Money.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) conceded yesterday that a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats may block the adoption of the spending limits in his budget plan. Facing an election-year revolt, Gregg has already dropped the centerpiece of Bush's budget-cutting efforts for 2007, a $37 billion reduction in the growth of Medicare. And he opted against using in the budget resolution parliamentary language that would have helped Bush extend his first-term tax cuts beyond their 2010 expiration date.


In other words, we can thank the same "moderates" who helped bring us the Gang of 14 for this exercise in federal growth, as well as a few others. For instance, Arlen Specter apparently has been reading a little too much of Tom DeLay's press releases. He told the press that Congress is now "beyond cutting the fat and beyond the bone. We're down to the marrow." Specter wants to introduce more expansion in health care, education, and worker safety (by "billions of dollars above the president's request") along with the higher spending on security issues.

Here's the reality, for those who are not number-challenged (like Spectre):

The federal budget has escalated from $1.46T in 1994, when the GOP first came to power in the House, to an estimated $2.77T for this year, almost double in spending. Discretionary spending in that period has increased from $541B to $969B, and even in 2001 only came to $649B. That means that discretionary spending has increased almost 50% in the time when the GOP controlled both the House and the White House.

Did that spending go to defending the nation? Some of it did. Between 2001 and 2006, defense and security spending rose $231B, a 76% increase, but defense is hardly alone. One of Specter's priorities, education, increased a whopping 137% in the same period. Medicare rose 58% and Medicaid 49%. Health research went up 78%. Unemployment benefits increased 27% in a period where unemployment has actually dropped from 2001 levels.

HT: Captain's Quarters

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