How many people realize that Bill Clinton got more money in that Republican budget deal than he had ever asked for?
On top of that, the tax cuts included in the agreement are not significantly higher than than proposals the president had offered in the past.
Under this plan, total federal spending over the next five years will add up to $9 trillion. That’s nearly $200 billion (with a “B”) more than Clinton asked for last year and $18 billion more than he asked for this year.
And where’s that money going? To all the wrong places. Did anyone imagine the Republicans would agree to spend more in the Education Department than the Democrats? I thought these were the guys who wanted to get rid of the Education Department. And the National Endowment for the Arts? It’s still there. Republicans are impotently crowing about the fact that the agency didn’t get a bigger budget. Is this what the revolution was all about, Newt?
“Another way to look at the deal is to see how Republicans and the White House saw the federal government in the year 2002,” wrote John Merline in an excellent lead story Tuesday in Investor’s Business Daily. “Again, Clinton comes out way ahead. Republicans, for instance, consistently said the federal government should spend only $244 billion on domestic discretionary programs in 2002. Clinton said that figure should be around $290 billion. Final agreement: $288 billion.”
With all this in mind, I’m still trying to figure out how any Republican — let alone any “conservative” — can rationalize (with a straight face, anyway) this deal as anything but another major political triumph for Clinton.
I’ve never seen a more pathetic bunch of weasels in my life than the Republican leadership of the House and Senate. But it’s not just the leadership, either. Did anyone notice the massive expansion of public housing eligibility approved by the House this week? Only one Republican voted against it — only Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, bless his heart, had the guts and good sense to oppose this expansion of the welfare state.
It’s time for every thinking American to re-evaluate their party allegiance. The healthiest thing that could happen to our country in the next three years — besides impeachment — would be for Republicans and Democrats to re-register en masse as independents, Libertarians, U.S. Taxpayers Party members, you name it.
There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties today — and that’s a tragedy for our nation.
Never has there been a better argument for term limits, either. Something happens to politicians who spend too much time inside the beltway. Even the best of them are corrupted by the system — by being part of that establishment. Just look at Trent Lott or Newt Gingrich. It’s enough to make you sick!
Another idea whose time has come is the ballot option “none of the above.” When we’re faced with choosing the lesser of two evils, maybe it would be better to reject the choice than to accept the evil.
Something has to be done — and soon.