Republicans like to refer to themselves as “fiscal conservatives.” You would be hard pressed in this election year hear a Republican deliver a speech that does not include the weeping and gnashing of teeth over the country’s debt and deficit. If they are not railing against the President’s “reckless spending” they are comparing us to Greece and warning that we are mortgaging our children’s future with enormous debt. Just the other day Speaker Boehner said that he had had enough. He warned anyone who was listening that he would not allow any increase in the expiring debt ceiling unless Democrats agreed to spending cuts in an amount greater than the increase in the debt limit.
So one has to wonder why Boehner’s Republican controlled House just approved a $642 billion defense budget that is $8 billion MORE than the President and congressional Republicans agreed to last summer.
(You remember last summer, when Republicans were so doped up on “fiscal austerity” that they almost caused the country to default on its debts. That was the same summer their reckless intransigence resulted in a lowering of our credit rating for the first time in our history.)
You have to wonder why that defense budget includes the construction of a missile defense site on the east coast THAT THE MILITARY DOESN”T WANT.
You also have to wonder why their presumptive nominee, Willard Romney, not only agrees with this unfunded increase in defense spending but he also wants to continue the Bush tax cuts and lower the corporate tax rates; all without providing any specifics on how he intends to pay for them.
The fact of the matter is that the Republican Party lost the right to wear the mantle of fiscal conservatism decades ago. Ronald Reagan was by today’s standards a moderate who actually raised taxes 19 times during his two terms. George H.W. Bush told us to read his lips when he said: “No new Taxes.” We all remember how that turned out. And his son, Bush 43, led us into two unpaid wars, the aforementioned unfunded Bush tax cuts and the unfunded Medicare Part D prescription drug plan that was the largest social program in our history. All in all “W” managed to increase the debt by $5 trillion all by himself.
Republicans like to talk about being fiscally conservative. History tells us that have trouble practicing what they preach. Recent events tell us that nothing has really changed.