Years ago when I first learned about politics from my father,
I was taught that the Republican Party stood for fiscal sanity
and the Democratic Party stood for tax and spend politics. Funny
how some things change, but others just stay the same. Of
course, the Democrats still stand for tax and spend politics.
They continue to try to demagogue all the issues and pit one
group of Americans against another. Republicans are supposed to
speak out against that type of shenanigans, but instead they
sadly imitate those politics.
Republicans are now for Big Government, just a little bit
less than the Democrats. There seems to be no one on Capitol
Hill actually interested in cutting the budget, so our budget
surplus has magically disappeared and we are now faced with
serious budget deficits once again. The economy has been in
trouble for two years and many Americans have had to watch their
spending and trim their own personal budgets. Why not the
politicians in Washington D.C.? The stock market is in the
dumps, but not the spending habits on the hill.
This year, Congress is setting a record for pork-barrel
spending. I understand that we are at war, but I fail to
understand how spending billions of dollars on wasteful
government programs will help us win it. In the past year,
spending in the public sector has exceeded spending in the
private sector to a tremendous degree. City, state and federal
spending rose 6% in the past year, while private spending rose
only .5%. According to the Cato Institute, federal spending will
grow $150 to $200 billion this year alone. Of course this is
mostly because of outrageous federal spending on pork-barrel
projects and massively wasteful farm subsidy and education
bills. The tax and spend addicts are so out of control that here
are some of the ridiculous programs that your tax dollars are
- A tattoo-removal program in San Luis Obispo County,
- An obesity center at the University of West Virginia--$2
- An effort to combat "Goth" culture in Blue
When are Republicans going to say enough is enough? The
United Postal Service is mired in serious debt—nearly $13
billion. They will be raising the price of stamps for the third
time in three years. Amtrak is looking for a $200 million
bailout after losing more than a $1 billion last year. Many one
of the reasons that these agencies are doing poorly is that the
bureaucratic executives of Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service
have reportedly been chauffeured in luxurious limousines. These
agencies are operating in lavish opulence without a serious
effort to reform spending practices. The United Postal Service
and Amtrak are being bailed out again. Where are the Republican
leaders saying the country needs to privatize both industries?
The latest boondoggle is the Homeland Security Department—another
example of big government in action. Why do we need this
governmental leviathan? When government agencies and departments
are created, they only grow in size and stature. Remember when
Republicans used to stand for eliminating the Departments of
Energy and Education. I vividly remember Ronald Reagan
excoriating those bureaucracies and promising to dismantle them.
Well, twenty years later, they are only growing in size and we
are now embarking on making an even larger one. Now, we have
President Bush partnering with the most liberal and notorious
Senator Ted Kennedy to pass an education bill that pumps more
billions into the Department of Education which will not fix the
problem. Pouring more money on a problem doesn’t solve it.
This country has experienced decades of massive federal
government funding into education and where are the results?
When will Republicans learn this lesson?
The Homeland Security department will have 170,000 employees
and a budget of $37 billion. It will include agencies like the
Coast Guard, the Secret Service and the Customs Service, but not
the FBI or the CIA, so serious questions remain about how this
will make us safer and what will be the eventual cost. The best
way to combat terrorism is not addressed in this bill and that
would be to completely shut down illegal immigration and send
back all illegal immigrants that are in this country. The
Republican Party does not have the political will to address
this crucial issue, but if there is a mission for a Homeland
Security Department illegal immigration should be it. Our focus
should be on killing the enemy abroad and at home and not
worrying about creating the third largest government department
in the President’s cabinet. We have not found the anthrax
killers, nor have we found the mastermind of the attack that
killed 3,000 on September 11, 2002. Those should be our main
missions, not creating more government spending. The only true
way to create homeland security is not to create this
department, but to create a death sentence for the terrorists,
both domestic and foreign.
Jeff Crouere is the host of Ringside
Politics on WTIX in Louisiana. Listen live here.
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