We’ve all heard the smear about tax and spend Democrats. These mythical creatures infuriated Republicans around the country by taking their hard earned money and throwing it away on useless spending programs. Well, now we discover the Republican alternative, brought to you by the Republican majority in Congress:
Congress raised the limit on the federal government’s borrowing by $781 billion yesterday
. . .
On vote after vote in the House and Senate, lawmakers demonstrated the growing gap between their political promises to rein in spending and their need to respond to emergencies and protect politically popular programs. The votes followed last weekend’s GOP leadership meeting in Memphis, at which virtually every speaker called on the party to renew its commitment to fiscal discipline and to control federal spending and the deficit
And that’s really the GOP’s problem: those big government, tax and spend programs are very popular, and there isn’t any way they can get rid of them without being punished at the ballot box. At the same time, they have promised to lower taxes. So they bring us a government with lower revenues as a proportion of GDP, and with the same big spending that the populace wants. The only way they can finance it is through debt. How bad is it?
It was the fourth debt-ceiling increase in the past five years, following boosts of $450 billion in 2002, a record $984 billion in 2003 and $800 billion in 2004. The statutory debt limit has now risen by more than $3 trillion since Bush took office.
It is bad. Very bad. They have shown themselves to be unprincipled cowards, unable to stand up either for fiscal conservatism, by cutting popular spending programs, or for their constituents, by raising taxes to pay for the programs they want. Despicable. Their rhetoric is fundamentally deceptive, and the American people should realize that we’ve let snake-oil peddlers into the highest chambers of government.
UPDATE: As shown at Daily Kos, the Democrats did a fine job:
52-48. Every single Democrat voted against imposing this financial burden on working Americans.
This is the way to do it. Stand unified with regular Americans, and election gains will come.