Friday, January 21, 2011


About that GOP spending cut proposal and recent GOP rhetoric:

Congressional conservatives on Thursday demanded far more dramatic reductions in government spending than House GOP leaders have recently proposed.

... the group called for even deeper cuts over the next decade to return non-defense spending to 2006 levels.

... Republican leaders made spending cuts a central tenet of the fall campaign, promising to slash non-defense programs to 2008 levels....

One of the tea party movement's mantras during the 2010 campaign was "Republicans have lost their way." It's actually a talking point Republicans have been using since 2006. Michael Reagan, just after that year's midterms:

Republicans Lost Because They Lost Their Way

... the real cause of the Nov. 7 electoral disaster [is] the fact that Republicans had stopped acting the way Republicans are meant to act, and began acting as clones of big-government, big-spending Democrats.

Mike Pence a year ago:

House Republicans lost their majority in 2006 mostly because we lost our way. We walked away from the practice of the principles of limited government that really augmented our national governing majority, first in 1980, and then in Congress in 1994.

But if Republicans lost their way while they controlled Congress (through the end of 2006) or while they held the White House (through the end of 2008), why are the current crop of Republicans talking about cutting spending back to (choose one) 2006 levels or 2008 levels? Shouldn't they be calling for a return to budgets created before the (unnamed) moment when their party, by their own admission, lost its way?

Aren't they just telling us, in effect, "Pay no attention to that 'lost our way' stuff -- we really did do everything right, and things went bad only when you got rid of us"?

I'm actually surprised that no one's proposed going back to 1988 spending levels -- levels from the last full year of Saint Reagan's reign (St. R. was a huge spender and deficit-increaser, though it's heresy to say so).

Of course, in reality, the only balanced budgets in living memory came under the hated Bill Clinton. But I've never heard a teabagger acknowledge that.

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