Wednesday, September 14, 2005

DeLay Spins That Republican Congress Is Fiscally Conservative (Stop Laughing ...) Even Some Conservatives Disagree

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) said yesterday that Republicans can claim an "ongoing victory" as fiscal conservatives.

There is no fat left to cut in the budget, he suggested.

Not surprisingly, anti-waste groups laughed, then rattled off the thousands of pieces of pork the Republican-led Congress has approved. But they weren't alone. Fiscal conservatives had the same reaction. So did the conservative Washington Times. You're probably laughing now.

How empty is DeLay's spin? Since 2000, the Republican-led Congress has added $2 trillion to the federal deficit, including $303 billion (since 2001) for nonmilitary, non-homeland security spending. You may recall that there was a budget surplus prior to 2000.

This year's expected deficit is $331 billion, not including any money supporting areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina ($62.3 billion thus far).

But that's didn't stop DeLay from offering empty conservative spin. "(A)fter 11 years of Republican majority we've pared (the budget) down pretty good."

Republican leaders have been under pressure to find ways to pay for Katrina relief. Some Republicans wanted to offer an amendment, including cuts, to pay for hurricane spending but were denied the chance under procedural rules.

"This is hardly a well-oiled machine," Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told the Times. "There's a lot of fat to trim. ... I wonder if we've been serving in the same Congress."

American Conservative Union Chairman David A. Keene told the paper that federal spending already was "spiraling out of control" before Katrina. "Excluding military and homeland security, American taxpayers have witnessed the largest spending increase under any preceding president and Congress since the Great Depression."

Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), told the Times that if Mr. DeLay wants to know where to cut, "there are plenty of places to reduce."

His group soon will release a list of $2 trillion in suggested spending cuts over the next five years, and he said Congress also could cut the estimated $20 billion to $25 billion in pet projects that make their way into must-pass spending bills each year.

CAGW and the conservative Heritage Foundation also suggest rescinding the 6,000-plus earmarked projects in the recently passed highway bill. That was also suggested last week by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).


Anonymous Charlie Brown said...

This is worthy of the conservative idiots list

2:14 PM  
Anonymous ingac70 said...

Is there such a creature as a fiscal conservative left in the Republican Party??

I thought the theocrats ate them all.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Lasher said...

I hate it when beer comes out my nose (EOM)

2:15 PM  
Anonymous TheFarseer said...

Here's a clue Tom

if you want to be fiscally conservative, balance the budget. No excuses, no projections, just balance the budget. If you balance the budget, let me be the first to say you did a great job and that you are very fiscally responsible. Until then, STFU.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Ingac70 said...

You don't want Tom Delay to balance the budget...

To him "balance" means ZERO money for any domestic programs.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DeLay angrily told his personal banker: "How can I be out of money? I still have checks left?"

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Double T said...

The GOP is conservative like a drunken sailor on pay day....... show me the money, so I can spend it.

2:23 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Considering the behemoth known as entitlements, most of which should not be such, if our politicians ever got the guts to make some massive cuts we'd have lots more money to play with.

3:05 PM  
Blogger The Libertarian Republican said...

Tom Delay couldn't have been serious. He was obviously speaking tougue in cheek.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Kris -- that's great spin.

It was a lead story in the NEWS section of the Washington Times, as evidenced above. Unless you think the newspaper, the other offended GOP conservatives, and the various anti-waste groups and think tanks were in on the joke, I don't think your analysis stands up.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

Speaking tongue-in-cheek??

That's a good one.

Here's the thing - and this is a broader point. I'm a taxpayer too. Yes, I'm liberal, for sure, and therefore I probably think the government should do a bit more than say, a conservative does. But I also pay taxes. I want the damned thing to work right. If it doesn't, then why have this government at all? In that case I'd rather just be left alone. Tom Vilsack said it pretty well today after Bush's speech -- that there is something worse than a big, debt-ridden government that tries to do too much and fails, and that's a big, debt-ridden government that tries to do too little and succeeds. Which is what we have now. And it looks like the GOP is going to try to make Katrina, and now New Orleans, a big petri dish for all their wildest conservative free-market schemes. And while the patronage contracts are doled out, and the oil companies are given tax breaks to ease their suffering, the wages of regular workers are cut. It's nonsense. It's hysterical, and it's tragic.

9:01 AM  

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