pledged to cut $100 billion from the federal budget next year should they gain control of the lower house of Congress. House Minority leader John Boehner has outlined what he would do to curb spending if Republicans gain the House majority and he is in charge.
But it's not just Republican Representatives who want to slash and burn through the federal budget. California senate candidate Carly Fiorina has said, "First, let's institute a spending cap in Washington, D.C." Joe DioGuradio, the GOP senate candidate in New York, said, "We're spending money we don't have and we are putting the American dream in jeopardy." Senator Orrin Hatch has said, "We owe it to American taxpayers to stop the spending and stop giving foreign governments control over our future by borrowing so much money from them." You get the picture, Republicans are declaring war on spending.
Which is why the news coming out of the National Republican Congressional Committee is so strange. Politico is reporting that the NRCC is set to go on a spending blitz leading up to November, which would include borrowing millions of dollars. A call to the NRCC went unanswered, so I cannot say whether this money is coming from a bailed out institution. The NRCC seems to be pulling an "ends justify the means" move here, but is spending money you don't have, in order to stop spending money you don't have, realistic?
The myth of Republican fiscal conservatism ought to be long dead by now. Ronald Reagan famously said, "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." He then went on to spend federal dollars like it was going out of style. While the nation's debt was the smallest it had been (compared to GDP) in decades, Reagan and George H. W. Bush changed this, more than doubling the $1 trillion debt to about $2.6 trillion. Compared to GDP, the deficit skyrocketed. This trend was halted by Clinton, who brought it back down (though nowhere near 1980 levels), but was continued by George W. Bush and continues to occur under Obama, given the recent stimulus package and our dual wars.
In other words, for the past 30 years the Republicans have dominated the deficit game. So it really should come as no surprise that the NRCC plans to take out a loan to spend, spend, spend on current Congressional races. We just should not expect the Republicans to do any differently than the NRCC if they are elected.
Photo - House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (Washington Post)