Monday, April 03, 2006

Debt, Deficit, and Fiscal Conservativism

Today the cover story in the USA Today is about the growth of federal spending under the current administration.
Federal spending is outstripping economic growth at a rate unseen in more than half a century, provoking some conservatives to complain that government under Republican control has gotten too big.

The federal government is currently spending 20.8 cents of every $1 the economy generates, up from 18.5 cents in 2001, White House budget documents show. That's the most rapid growth during one administration since Franklin Roosevelt.
Ironically today's topic was already going to be Senator Hagel's fiscal conservatism, as a reader commented on it yesterday. Senator Hagel sent a letter to his supporters recently that outlined his six top priorities. One of them was a concern over deficit spending. This is what Chuck Hagel said in the letter about the subject:

"It is dangerously irresponsible for the government to continue deficit spending at the rate we are currently spending. We cannot continue to run up the national debt and burden future generations of Americans with huge government obligations that will impair their ability to compete and prosper. Deficits and accumulation of debt erode the economic fundamentals of a country. They debase a nation’s currency. This continued weakening of our economic base will have significant economic and national security implications for our future. The national leadership of this country must prioritize its resources and policies, and govern with accountability and purpose.”

Mike Pence was on NPR this morning, who the reporter called the conservative's conservative. To support this claim it was said that he had voted against No Child Left Behind and the new prescription drug benefit because of the costs related to the two of them.

The senator from Nebraska broke with his party leadership to vote against the new prescription-drug program under Medicare, the No Child Left Behind bill and a big farm bill stuffed with incentives for corporate agriculture. Each, he felt, was ill conceived in practical terms and unwarranted as an expansion of federal mandates and spending.

Interesting. As the New York Times Magazine reports Senator Hagel voted NO on No Child Left Behind and these other big spending bills. So from a fiscal conservative standpoint, it looks like Senator Hagel is also a conservative's conservative.

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Writing Left said...

He says he is opposed to deficit spending but a great deal of the spending has come from irresponsible tax cuts, military spending in Iraq, and programs such as Medicare Part D. What are his voting records on these issues? If he voted for them, then he is as responsible as other Republicans for this irresponsible and unsustainable fiscal course we are on.

young_activist said...

Our debt is not our children's responsibilty we need to let our members of Congress now this. We are only being greddy when we are selling our children's future to pay for frivilous spending if this does not stop now AMerica's economy will suffer greatly.