Candidates want more of what is in your wallet
Posted by: mcq on Monday, February 04, 2008
The Bush budget has been submitted and for the first time it crosses the 3 trillion dollar mark - and people wonder why we're feeling a bit pinched? It's not just the economy folks.
That being said, perhaps this is a good time to review what the presidential nominees are promising in terms of spending, if they get the nod to occupy the Oval Office. As you can imagine, none of the major tier candidates are talking about less spending although, there are stark differences:
“The eight candidates proposed a combined total of 189 items that would increase federal spending, 24 items that would decrease it, and 238 items whose budgetary impacts are unknown — in addition to dozens of sub-items further detailing program components. The four respective frontrunners in the two parties (John McCain, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama), proposed overall fiscal policy agendas whose net effect would raise annual federal outlays between $6.9 billion and $287.0 billion.
“The top-tier GOP candidates often portrayed as "conservative" (Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee) actually called for significantly larger spending hikes ($19.5 billion and $54.2 billion, respectively)
, than the so-called "moderate conservative" (John McCain, $6.9 billion)
“Among Democrats, Barack Obama, often described as ideologically more "moderate" than Hillary Clinton, actually has the larger agenda of the two ($287.0 billion vs. $218.2 billion)
“Defense-related spending items received the highest proposed spending increases among Republican candidates. Huckabee and Romney, for example, offered $67.2 billion and $40.6 billion, respectively. Among Democrats, Clinton's biggest boost goes toward health care ($113.6 billion) and Obama's for economy, transportation, and infrastructure ($105.0 billion).
A couple of points - I don't believe John McCain would limit himself to $6.9 billion any more than I believe the estimate of $113.6 billion by Clinton for health care spending. They're estimates, and you can bank on them being sunny estimates which will be found later be gross underestimates.
What I'm instead interested in is the fact that not one of them proposed spending less money (in fact, the only candidates that have are Rudy Giulaini and Ron Paul). Oh sure, some proposed spending less money than others, but every single one of them has proposed a spending increase (even John McCain who claims that he wants to see spending cuts).
While they all talk a good game about fiscal responsibility, their spending plans certainly hint that such an issue isn't really that high on their priority list.
I guess, going back to the previous Clinton era, that all depends on how you define "fiscal responsibility" doesn't it? And "change". And many other words and phrases being tossed around by the political class these days. It would be nice if someone would pin them down on some of these catch phrases, wouldn't it?
As Steve Adcock says:
Washington downsizing is not a priority. The idea that throwing money at a problem and hoping that it magically goes away remains alive and well in America. Clearly, none of the front runners feel much personal responsibility related to spending the taxpayer's money wisely, and none of them deserve the opportunity to lead the free world.
Grab your wallets.