Home > Economics, Political Ranting > Republicans: Scrambling Out the Back Door, Running Around to the Front, Then Screaming to Throw the Bums Out

Republicans: Scrambling Out the Back Door, Running Around to the Front, Then Screaming to Throw the Bums Out

March 14th, 2009

Obama and Democrats in the Senate propose stimulus spending to spur job growth and economic revitalization. The public approves of it strongly. The bill passes Congress. The states await the funding.

A few opportunistic Republican state governors make noise about refusing token bits of the spending, but one governor–Mark Sanford of South Carolina wants to take that state’s $700 million cut of the money, and instead of spending it on what it was intended for, use it to pay down the state’s debt. Remember the young girl asking for funds to make her school livable again from Obama’s address to Congress? South Carolina. Sanford would be pulling the carpet out from that school, as one small example of those who would suffer from it.

So, why does he want to do that?

What we’ve said is it’s not a good idea to spend money that you don’t have, whether in your personal life, in the world of business, or for that matter, in the world of politics. At the end of the day, all this stimulus money’s about spending money we don’t have. We don’t think that’s a good idea, but that debate was lost.

Ah. After eight years of non-stop Republican borrow and spend, where right-wingers couldn’t spend “money they didn’t have” fast enough, after decades of smearing of the Democrats as “tax and spend” (which would be using money you DO have), after thirty years of Republicans running up ten trillion dollars in debt, we now have Republicans lecturing Obama and the rest of us on “spending money we don’t have,” a practice the Republicans have owned for the past three decades. And their timing could not be worse–we now actually need spending like we never have before.

And Obama’s spending is not the earmarks Republicans have dominated, nor the no-bid contracts to cronies and contributors, or the billions in giveaways to oil companies already flush with profits or billions more for wealthy people flush with profits from the Clinton years. Instead, the spending is mostly for stuff that I guess Republicans see as wasteful–schools, roads, bridges, communications, and other infrastructure stuff.

Remember Al Gore and the lockbox, using some of the money the Clinton surplus would have given us for paying down the debt? Remember how Republicans scoffed at it and instead insisted that it was “your” (the taxpayer’s) money, so you (and by “you,” we mean wealthy people) could get tax cuts? Remember how those tax cuts, along with Bush letting 9/11 happen, and his debacle of a war in Iraq, gutted any chance of surpluses helping, even if Republicans had any intention of paying down any debt?

Yep, the Republican Party is now officially the Party of Dangerously Irresponsible Economics. Not that they weren’t for the past 30 years when they gave in to “Voodoo Economics” so they could win elections. But now they have removed any and all doubt.

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  1. Troy
    March 14th, 2009 at 15:34 | #1

    after thirty years of Republicans running up ten trillion dollars in debt

    Actually total debt is $11T now but that’s counting $4.3T of intragovernmental debt that isn’t debt per se but government-held savings (the same class of savings as Japan’s postal savings system holding Japanese and US Treasury gov’t debt).

    So the current debt is $6.6T, and Bush inherited the debt at $3.3T so he’ll easily end up more than doubling the debt (once this fiscal year ends in September).

    Man I miss living in pre-internet Japan. The only news I was exposed to was doing those A-Level news stories we had to do. Heaven to not have the constant aggro of conservative stupidity assault me like the humidity of an August day.

  2. Troy
    March 14th, 2009 at 15:47 | #2

    oh, wait Carter left office with the debt pushing $1T with the SSTF running out so I guess you’re right!

  3. Tim Kane
    March 14th, 2009 at 22:53 | #3

    As I recall, the word was, at the time of the Bush take over in 2001, that the debt would be payed off by 2012. Given that a huge % of government expenditures has gone to service this debt, that meant that real tax cuts could have come after 2012.

    Once upon a time you could say that Republicanism was a form of Political Calvinism, oh, never mind…

  4. Jon
    March 15th, 2009 at 14:43 | #4

    Have you read this Mark Sandford guy’s record?

    I can offer no disagreement with your assessment of the spending habits of Republicans in general, but it looks a bit unwarranted to call this guy out for being inconsistent.

    Wrong maybe, but this guy appears to have been a very consistent hardcore fiscal conservative his whole career, so not inconsistent.

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