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Republicans Have Finally Been Revealed as the Party of Fiscal Ruin

As Paul Ryan exits, a new CBO report confirms the extent of the GOP's damage to the nation’s budget.

YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS/NewscomYURI GRIPAS/REUTERS/NewscomRepublicans in Washington have often embraced the idea of fiscal responsibility, and sought to cast themselves as the party of choice for anyone who cares about sound budgeting. This was particularly true during the Obama era, which saw dramatic increases in debt and deficits. Republicans criticized Obama's budgeting relentlessly, and promised to reverse its errors.

No Republican was more vociferously opposed to the build up of public debt than Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP speaker of the House who announced this morning that he would not run for reelection. For years, Ryan has served as the frontman for the GOP's fiscal crusades, a role that helped elevate him into the upper echelons of party leadership.

Ryan repeatedly lambasted the fiscal policies of President Obama and the Democratic party. He charged that Obama "dodged the tough choices necessary to confront the threat of runaway federal spending," and criticized the president for ignoring the recommendations of the bipartisan fiscal commission that he helped create. Under Obama, Ryan said in a 2011 op-ed, "Democrats have simply done away with serious budgeting altogether." Ryan was serious about the deficit. Obama and the Democrats were not.

Ryan's crusade for fiscal rectitude was echoed by the rest of party leadership. The notion that the GOP was the party of fiscal responsibility was a core component of the party's self conception. The 2012 Republican party platform, for example, warned that without "dramatic action now, young Americans and their children will inherit an unprecedented legacy of enormous and unsustainable debt." It promised that the next Republican president would "propose immediate reductions in federal spending, as a down payment on the much larger task of long-range fiscal control." The end game was a balanced federal budget.

In 2012, Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, called the debt the "the nation's most serious long-term problem." In the House, John Boehner staged multiple high-profile showdowns over raising the debt limit. The most prominent conservative activist movement of the Obama era was the Tea Party. The Tea Party was a decentralized movement with multiple motivations, but its adherents and boosters frequently cited rising government spending and resulting deficits as a key reason for its existence. During his 2016 campaign, Donald Trump ran on cutting spending and balancing the budget. His math didn't come close to adding up, but the goal was important enough to GOP orthodoxy that he repeatedly made the promise.

Republicans now control both Congress and the White House. Paul Ryan is now the top Republican in the House. Mitch McConnell is now the top Republican in the Senate. Donald Trump is the president.

So you might be forgiven for assuming that under unified Republican control, the federal government's fiscal outlook would have improved—or at the very least, that it would not have become markedly worse.

Yet since winning control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, Republicans have done nothing to shore up the budget. On the contrary, the GOP's two most prominent achievements—an overhaul of the tax code and a spending deal made with congressional Democrats—have combined to make the nation's fiscal future far worse.

The annual deficit is now racing toward $1 trillion. According to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office, over the next decade, deficits will total about $1.8 trillion more than if the tax law had not been passed. If anything, that undercounts the damage. The tax law's individual rate reductions all expire within the decade. Republicans, including Paul Ryan, have said they would like those cuts to be made permanent, and it is hard to imagine that a future Congress will really let them expire. If that were to happen, the deficit increase would balloon by a further $722 billion.

By 2028, the CBO now projects that the national debt will nearly equal the country's entire gross domestic product. The report contextualizes this figure by noting that it is an amount "far greater than the debt in any year since just after World War II." Republicans have set the debt on a trajectory that has little historical precedent.

The $1.3 trillion spending bill that congressional Republicans passed earlier, meanwhile, added $400 billion in new spending over the next two years, breaking the spending caps that were put in place under the previous administration. Its increases were roughly split between domestic and defense, and it ended up funding many Obama-era priorities. As with the temporary tax reductions, the two year increase is likely to have permanent ripple effects, as it's unlikely that Congress will suddenly return to lower spending levels.

This is the opposite of fiscal responsibility. It is, if anything, an active disdain for the sort of fiscal restraint that Republicans so often claimed to support under Obama. And it strongly suggests that the GOP's criticisms were merely opportunistic. Under Trump, Republicans have demonstrated that they are the party of fiscal ruin.

To be more precise: They have demonstrated it once again. The behavior we have witnessed under Trump is not a twist or a reversal or an unpredictable turn. It is simply how Republicans have behaved whenever they have been given the opportunity since at least the turn of the century.

Under President George W. Bush, Republicans turned a budget surplus into a bulging deficit, cutting taxes while radically increasing spending. Bush spent more than any of the six presidents before him, and nearly doubled the total spending of his predecessor, Bill Clinton. Between the 2002 and 2009 fiscal years, the federal government's discretionary spending rose 96 percent.

Democrats, to be sure, have not exactly been icons of limited government. But under Clinton, the deficit turned into a technical surplus. During his first term, discretionary spending actually dropped; it wasn't until the second term, with Republicans in control of Congress, that it began to increase again.

Deficits ballooned during President Obama's first term, and from day one of his presidency, Republicans were swift to blame Democrats for a lack of fiscal discipline. But the rapid increase actually started under Bush. Depending on how you run the numbers, it is possible to make the argument that most of the Obama-era deficits were caused by Bush-era policies. Obama's second term was marked by still large but shrinking deficits that Republicans, since taking over, have grown again. When Paul Ryan noted that Obama ignored the recommendations of the bipartisan committee on fiscal responsibility, he was right. But what Ryan didn't say was that Ryan himself was on that committee—and he voted against its recommendations.

I do not mean to suggest that Democrats are actually the party of good budgetary sense. In the long term, the largest drivers of the debt are Medicare and Social Security, and Democrats have, for the most part, been resistant to structural reforms.

But for all their bluster, Republicans have failed to move forward with significant checks to entitlement spending. Since 2000, their single biggest contribution was to the entitlement state was to expand Medicare with a prescription drug benefit. In 2012, one of Mitt Romney's most frequent criticisms of Obamacare was that it cut Medicare. President Trump, meanwhile, has made the hands-off commitment explicit, promising over and over again not to touch entitlements. Trump's position was just an admission of the position that Republicans, practically speaking, already held.

The deficit estimates that have accompanied tax law and the spending deal do not suggest that the GOP under Trump has not undergone some unexpected personality shift. Even if some members would have preferred a different outcome, the effect of unified Republican rule has been to confirm the party's true priorities. Paul Ryan, for example, is not disappointed by the course the party has taken during his tenure. "I will leave incredibly proud of what we have accomplished," he said this morning, citing the deficit-hiking tax law as a "lasting victory." This is the GOP's essential nature. Republicans didn't lose the mantle of fiscal responsibility. They never had it in the first place.

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  • Citizen X - #6||

    Come on, let's be honest - the Republicans are one of the parties of fiscal ruin.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But have the Democrats ever seriously pretended to be the party of fiscal responsibility? But, yes, the headline should have been a party instead of the party. It takes two to tango.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I thought you didn't read other comments. Got you.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I've always known he secretly reads mine.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    These are just random words strung together. If you people are finding meaning in them vis-à-vis your own comments then that's your own narcissism which you might want to sort out.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You know how people say that an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters, given infinite time, would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare? Well, Fist's comments are three monkeys, ten minutes.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    See no humor, hear no humor, speak no humor?

  • wearingit||

    Well considering they're usually called "tax and spend" liberals, I'd say somewhat so, yes. They want to grow govt but at least are upfront about needing money to do so. The Rs pretend to give a shit about the deficit then spend like drunken sailors then blame it all on Democrats somehow (and even more absurd, people believe them.)

  • JFree||

    This^.

    There is not a damn bit of difference between the two parties on spending.

    The R's are FAR worse on the revenue side. Taxes are at least an honest form of revenue if you ain't gonna change the spending. Deficits/debt is profoundly dishonest and unfair - and corrosive too since it perpetuates the notion of a free lunch and distorts an actual free market.

  • ||

    I'm a bit confused after "No new taxes." followed by taxes and "No Nation-building" followed by two wars and nation building as to how this 'reveal' is really much more than unboxing.

    Who knew only paying lip service to smaller government and fiscal responsibility only made you slightly more appealing to the electorate than the alternative?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Why do you think we call them looters? You expected honesty?

  • John C. Randolph||

    I'd describe them as half of the party of fiscal ruin. The Ruling Party has two brands, but the differences are superficial.

    -jcr

  • RodgerMitchell||

    Deficit spending is necessary for economic growth. Deficit reductions lead to recessions, which are cured by increased deficits. See: http://bit.ly/2IONFcF

    Also see: http://bit.ly/2Hj8EHG

    Federal finances are not like personal finances.

  • CE||

    Yeah, I blame austerity.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    new CBO report confirms the extent of the GOP's damage to the nation's budget.

    When we were on the verge of real fiscal reform in 2013 with Simpson-Bowles (lost by a few votes in committee) the H&R Republicans told me "JUST WAIT TILL THE GOP TAKES OVER! THEY IS REAL BUDGET HAWKS!".

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The Nixonians aren't. The Reagan wing are, but have been treated as extremists for suggesting budget cuts.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Both clown posses are hacking a hole in the bottom of the boat and every now and again they switch who wields the bigger axe. Trying to apportion blame at any particular point in time is not only foolish it's silly posturing.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Correct. but in 2018, 2020 and for as long as idiots and deplorables believe them the GOP will be running as the "party of fiscal responsibility".

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    It's common for followers of either party to fall for their candidates BS. I see it every election cycle.

    Historically, if you want to know what the candidate won't do, listen to what they say they will do on the campaign trail. Elections are littered with broken campaign promises.

  • DarrenM||

    I think there is some requirement that elected candidates secretly forswear any promises made during the campaign to voters.

  • BigT||

    Correct. but in 2018, 2020 and for as long as idiots and morons believe them the Dems will be running as the "party of the common people"

    Maybe.....commie people?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Dems arthenlrrymof sserfdom and illegal aliens. The blue collar workers have migrated to the GOP, in part thanks to Trump. Unfortunately, congressional GOP members are largely big government Nixonian types with no sense of fiscal responsibility.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The only hope is for their respective constituencies to be laying into GOP lawmakers when they return to their districts, and for serious primary challenges. Outside of that, we can maybe hope that the two parties will complete their flip and the Democrats start to pretend to care about spending and give lip service to challenging the Republicans on it.

  • juris imprudent||

    [blinks] Democrats don't even have to pretend. They will get elected because they promise to spend rich peoples money, not the money from their constituents. What they pretend is that what they take [from the rich] they will give to [the poor] - beats me why this works, but then I don't understand Trump's appeal either.

  • DarrenM||

    It's just the usual tactic of changing the meaning of words. Democrats change the meaning of "the rich" to mean what "anyone paying taxes" would normally mean. They are very flexible that way.

  • James Pollock||

    It's not that complicated.
    D's want to take YOUR money and give it to people poorer than you.
    R's want to take YOUR money and give it to people richer than you.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Democrats, to be sure, have not exactly been icons of limited government."

    This is the greatest understatement of all time.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    But we had a "technical" surplus under clinton (after the gop retook congress and constrained spending). And by technical I mean we didn't have a surplus but were just spending our interest-only mortgage.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Technical = took in more money than we spent.

    Due to the 1995 Omnibus.

  • Rat on a train||

    Well, took in more than we spent if you ignore things like interest on the debt. The Treasury Department records show there was no year during the Clinton administration that the public debt shrank from one fiscal year to the next.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    no year during the Clinton administration that the public debt shrank from one fiscal year

    True - because surpluses in SS are added to the public debt when Trust bonds are purchased.

    On an OPERATING basis we had a surplus.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    No, on a cash flow basis only. Only the government gets to play that game. All private entities are forced to live in the real world and use accrual.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And surpluses become publicly held debt when they are redeemed, not when they are purchased. Not that it matters in the end.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|4.11.18 @ 11:11AM|#
    "On an OPERATING basis we had a surplus."

    If you lie about it in the right way, liars call it a "surplus". The rest of us call it a lie.

  • DarrenM||

    Government accounting is a farce.

  • DFG||

    Government accounting is how they say that reductions in the rate of growth equals a cut. That is how Republican administrations are said to be "gutting" important government spending all the while the national debt continues to climb. The Dems get credit for fighting the "cuts" and the Reps claim credit for pretending they are real.

  • Rat on a train||

    The increase was in the public debt so the government had to borrow from the public to cover expenses. It doesn't include intragovernment debt, because that is just an IOU from one part of the government to another.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And accrued liabilities in excess of the cash surplus. The same definition says that you're in "surplus" when you spend a HELOC.

    But an honest appraisal isn't in suderman's nature or yours.

  • BYODB||

    Or, notably, virtually anyone else either. We like to pretend that money can be pulled out of thin air without consequences in America.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    There is one and only one requirement to get our fiscal house in order: cut entitlements. Everything else is just a fig leaf to cover for one's policy preferences. Vox libertarians like suderman are as dishonest as those they selectively criticize.

  • BYODB||

    Agreed. Modern politics seems to be the art of ignoring the most obvious problems and distracting people with manufactured social issues. Divide and conquer, I suppose.

  • James Pollock||

    You could also get there by cutting defense spending to just what is actually necessary to defend the country.

  • CE||

    And cut military spending. All of these wars could be phased out and the troops brought home and furloughed and the unnecessary military bases and weapons programs closed down.

  • CE||

    And it would probably increase national security, by giving less motivation to would-be enemies.

  • Just Say'n||

    "But under Clinton, the deficit turned into a technical surplus. During his first term, discretionary spending actually dropped; it wasn't until the second term, with Republicans in control of Congress, that it began to increase again."

    You apparently aren't familiar with Suderman's rewrite of history. Tech bubble? What tech bubble?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Tech bubble? What tech bubble?

    So the CBO should add an asterisk for the 1999 budget surplus?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Yes, because it wasn't a surplus.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, it was. Receipts exceeded spending.

    https://goo.gl/sFHFEV

  • A frilly pink thing||

    This was already explained to you, but you have this magical ability to ignore things that prove you wrong.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You keep lying.

    Here is a Hoover article explaining the surplus.

    https://www.hoover.org/research/story-surplus

  • A frilly pink thing||

    What did I lie about?

  • cereal_shake||

    It appears you have had this explained to you, by NotAnotherSkippy, so you appear to be lying, not the other poster.

  • A frilly pink thing||

    It's how he shuts down conversation, he says something that's wrong, then viciously attacks anyone who mentions he is wrong and posts an article that he doesn't understand which doesn't prove his point, but usually proves that he was in fact wrong.

    I'm an asshole for even engaging.

  • Fairbanks||

    Where in the Hoover article are accruals for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? They aren't there, because government accounting ignores them. The CBO can call them surpluses all they want, but no one else would, especially leaders of public companies who would be prosecuted if they ignored pension promises on their books.

  • Fairbanks||

    Wrong. When you have no income and then borrow $1,000 and spend $500 do you have a surplus?

  • A frilly pink thing||

    You do if you're Buttplug.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    In fiscal 1998, total revenues taken in by the federal government exceeded total federal spending, producing a surplus of $69 billion.

    Hoover.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And total debt increased by 130BB. Treasury.

  • ChuckNorrisBeardFist||

    You do realize Rep controlled Congress than right? Congress is the one that does the budget.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    SudermanApr glossed over that whole thing in the article. It would have detracted from his premise. It makes me wonder if he follows up next week with "Democrats: America's New Budget Hawks".

    Unfortunately, there is no contingent within congress of any signgifcant number in either party that has any real sense of fiscal restraint or responsibility Maybe a democrst here or there, and thirty or so conservatives in the house, plus Ron Paul and Ted Cruz.

    Smehing must be done, and soon.

  • James Pollock||

    "Congress is the one that does the budget."

    No.

    The budget comes from the executive branch. Appropriations come from Congress, and do not necessarily follow the budget. And then actual spending can vary, as well.

  • Rat on a train||

    During his first term, discretionary spending actually dropped
    Peace dividend?

  • BillyG||

    Better question...why does he limit this only to Discretionary spending? We had the cold war military drawdown that happened under Clinton, remember? Why is it there's no mention of mandatory spending, primarily entitelments, the Democrats favorite third rail.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Difference without a distinction. The fact is the debt under Clinton was still manageable. And Bush kept changing the rationale for his tax cut because he simply wanted a tax cut consequences be damned. Gore ran on a tax cut in 2000 as well because we could only pay down so much of the debt per year.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    None of the debt was paid down during the Clinton years.

  • juris imprudent||

    Fuck all of them, cut spending. Hell, just stop growing spending!

  • ||

    Hell, just stop growing spending!

    By contemporary definitions this is a rather drastic cut.

  • juris imprudent||

    Anyone who ever says that to my face is getting punched. There is no reason to be polite or civil to that level of stupid.

  • James Pollock||

    " There is no reason to be polite or civil to that level of stupid."

    ... says the guy who led off with "Fuck all of them".

  • Mickey Rat||

    Draconian austerity even.

  • DarrenM||

    Draconian austerity even.

    Is there any other kind?

  • BYODB||

    Actually, yes, this is what they say about even just limiting the growth. That tells you how bad it really is, in my opinion. Rolling back spending, just to what they were the year before, is considered a 'drastic cut that kills people' these days.

  • James Pollock||

    " Rolling back spending, just to what they were the year before, is considered a 'drastic cut that kills people' these days."

    Depends.
    If the cost of, say, heart medication has gone up in the past year, then keeping dollar amounts the same as it was last year means you get fewer pills this year, which means someone goes without. The link is far more tenuous, but still real, for a number of other things in the budget. (Subsidized cellphone service, for example, might mean that a person without one can't call 911)

    The problem is that every dollar the government spends is a dollar of income for somebody, and nobody is looking to get fewer dollars. It turns out that every time you ask people what should be cut, they either target vague abstractions like fraud and waste, or programs that they themselves do not depend on. The Congressman that suggests closing the military base or subsidy program in his own district doesn't do well in the next election.

  • wef||

    Reason.ocm's has a debt fetish. When you write debt payable in IOUs, it ain't the debt, it's the spending.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKGaF_rZciA

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Because half the republicans in congress are fakers, just like you're a fake libertarian, Suderman you asswipe.

    #1, ARRA, and #2 you always cry like a bigger bitch than anyone here whenever it looks like there could be a government "shutdown". You're a complete joke who has absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Shut up, you partisan idiot. The GOP you love is the party of Big Government and you own it.

    Democrats suck too but no one puts faith in their ability to cut spending alone.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You do.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Fuck you. I believe Democrats are better on social issues (fewer Aborto-Freaks, bigots, etc) but that is about it.

    Oh, and foreign policy. The GOP owns the Iraq War fiasco.

  • Iheartskeet||

    The invasion that had bipartisan support ? That one ?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The one that the Bushpigs had to lie to get us into and spent $3 trillion on.

    See NATO/Obama Libya for the correct way to take out an evil strongman.

  • Just Say'n||

    Yes, Libya is a shining beacon thanks to American intervention.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Libya cost us $3 trillion less.

    Stick to the topic, Mr GOP.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And Johnson's war on poverty cost 17TT more.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Republicans somehow turned Benghazi into a bigger disaster than Iraq. Without the Benghazi investigation Hillary easily beats Trump.

  • BYODB||

    Uhh...so you're telling me that every Democrat in Congress and the Senate was dumber than George Bush? Golly!

    It's weird how George Bush had perfect control over the CIA/FBI/NSA to the point where he could get them to lie to Congress. You should bring this up more often!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    According to democrats, W. was simultaneously both the dumbest asshole, and the greatest diabolical genius in human history.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    With the same information Bill Clinton chose to not invade Iraq in 1998 even with Obama's mentors Daschle and Biden advocating invading Iraq. Bush owns the Iraq War although Republicans now like to pretend Hillary Clinton invaded Iraq.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I don't know any republican that things Hillary invaded Iraq.

    I would like to point out that Bill Clinton was dropping bombs on Iraqi targets when he was in office enforcing the no fly zone.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Quite a few Trump supporters believe Hillary invaded Iraq. I supported Bill Clinton's military actions towards Saddam.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    With that same information, congressional democrats approved the Iraq War. Ownership is bipartisan.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Oh, and foreign policy."

    Yeah, thank God #Resist is pushing against that War in Syria by....pushing for war with Russia? Are you clinically retarded?

  • juris imprudent||

    You ask that of someone who identifies as a smelly sex toy?

  • ||

    Oh, and foreign policy. The GOP owns the Iraq War fiasco.

    How far back and down do we go? Kennedy's handling of Cuba and Johnson's handling of Vietnam is pretty much the lowest point (or two) between here and Lincoln as near as I can tell.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    How far back and down do we go?

    The $3 trillion Bush borrowed to finance his war.

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    But you're not partisan at all.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Not accepting well known facts shows you are partisan and engaging in revisionist history.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Not accepting well known facts shows you are partisan and engaging in revisionist history.

    Sort of like you thinking a Hollywood movie is a documentary.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Wyatt Earp was a gun grabber...deal with it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Right out of their holsters.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    We invaded Vietnam because LBJ listened to his conservative Democrat colleagues. Thurmond became a Republican in part because Democrats were weak on communism.

  • DarrenM||

    If the country is run into the ground by irresponsible borrowing, it won't really matter. There will be no way to fund your social programs. Everything will be soaked up by debt payments. Of course, you'll probably be dead by then anyway and who cares about anyone who can't vote (let alone breath) yet.

  • juris imprudent||

    This is why this place has gone to hell - dueling sex toys.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    You and your buddy can both go fuck off and die Weigel.

  • Mickey Rat||

    #2 is probably the biggest thing. Suderman says he wants fiscal responsibility, but he also screams bloody murder about not wanting messy political fights over the budget. The budget that we got was directly the result of the GOP leadership avoiding any budget fight whatsoever.

    The other problem is him touting CBO analyses which assume proposed and acrual government programs and taxes work exactly as their supporters say they will, which often has no connection to reality at all.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The budget that we got was directly the result of the GOP leadership avoiding any budget fight whatsoever.

    Budget fights, really serious ones, tend to result in shutdowns that are politically toxic.

    The problem isn't even so much discretionary spending, although we could save billions pulling out of the Middle East and BRACing a few military bases. The problem is that Medicare/Medicaid are massive fiscal timebombs due in large part to the government's protection of healthcare cartels for the last 30-plus years, enabled further by the FDA.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Why are shutdowns politically toxic?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Why are shutdowns politically toxic?

    You should probably examine the last 20 years of them to get your answer.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Adam Smith warned about the unproductive hands that cause the ruin of nations. Changing from godly King to Nixon-subsidized kleptocracy only multiplied the number of parasites and agents who eat out our substance. But Suderman could draw on historical fact instead of just quoting looters. Ulysses S. Grant had the Dems under his heel when he signed the Comstock laws with zealots to rifle the mail and ban so much as mention of birth control, art or adult toys in 1872, and the economy tanked. Harrison used customs inspection and asset forfeiture to undermine Cleveland, T Roosevelt used the Pure food and Drug law as a prohibitionist bludgeon, and Coolidge signed off on making beer a felony. In all three cases the economy crashed and burned. So Reagan and Bush began a War on Plant Leaves (and birth control) and G. Waffen Bush added faith-based asset-forfeiture to the mix. Does ANYONE besides Suderman sense a convergent series here?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Reagan and Bush began a War on Plant Leaves

    Say, what? That shit started in 1937.

    -jcr

  • Just Say'n||

    Shhh...this is all Hank has. Let him live his fantasy.

    I believe in you, Hank!

  • Hank Phillips||

    The 1937 addition of hemp to the list of Mortal Sins was looters trying to preserve the Income Tax while brewers went bankrupt.

  • DajjaI||

    National debt is the major threat to the health and safety of the country's children. Not berzerk autistic and homeschool kids showing off their gun-handling skillz. But will they get out and march for their lives? No, because it's all part of you-know-who's plan to keep us apathetic as we pretend to care about stuff (e.g. 'common sense gun reforms' and 'sex trafficking').

  • Rhywun||

    Republicans, including Paul Ryan, have said they would like those cuts to be made permanent, and it is hard to imagine that a future Congress will really let them expire.

    Huh? A Congress run by Democrats will very likely appear within the next decade and that Congress will not only let the cuts expire, they will raise taxes.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Then why not cut spending now?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Because your party is opposed to any cuts. In fact they are demanding single payer.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You mean the party out of power?

    Why does the GOP of today love Big Government?

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    This is why people think you're lying when you claim not to be a Democrat, you instantly resort to dismissive whataboutism when you should, if you were what you claimed, be outraged about Democrat behavior.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I defend smaller deficits.

    It just so happens deficits skyrocket when a Republican is POTUS.

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    I love that you prove my point and don't even realize it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hey PB, you realize that a bunch of the garbage in that omnibus bill was shit Pelosi wanted, right? So they could get it through without gutting the military.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Because demagogues like you accuse them of throwing grandma off the cliff in her wheelchair.

    The only serious entitlement reform was bush in 2006 and your team blue said hell no. And if you want to bring up part D, then you are forced to accept that team vlue wanted to be even MORE generous. In fact that's exactly what they did whej they removed the donut hole in barrycare, a program that you whole-heartedly support.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And you're an idiot if you think the 2006 huge borrowing plan to "save" SS was serious entitlement reform.

    It cut NOTHING out of SS. It merely transferred 1/3 of FICA payments into a private account so that liabilities for standard SS increased by that amount.

    Obama/Simpson/Bowles was the only SS cut entertained.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You don't recognize those liabilities in your surplus above. Oops.

    And it capped the liabilities because it was a partial privitization.

    Simspon bowles was rejected by your hero and yet you keep spouting that lie.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    If congressional democrats cam together with a spending cuts package that wasn't based on gutting the military, there would be plenty of republicans who would sign on for it. More than enough to get it tomTrumo's desk. And Trump would certainly sign it.

    None of that will happen. Democrats have even less enthusiasm for spending cuts than republicans.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Translation: Trust in MY altruistic church and prophesies, my children, not my mirror image in the other half of the looter Kleptocracy. And do not cast any law-changing spoiler votes for Libertarian candidates!

  • JWatts||

    "Under President George W. Bush, Republicans turned a budget surplus into a bulging deficit, cutting taxes while radically increasing spending. Bush spent more than any of the six presidents before him, and nearly doubled the total spending of his predecessor, Bill Clinton."

    Sorry, but that claim is bullshit and the framing is partisan cherry picking.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYONGDA188S

    Granted, that's as a % of GDP, but Suderman frames this debate in terms of long run health of the country. Which makes % of GDP the appropriate measure. Furthermore, Suderman neglects to point out that Obama's budgets were much larger than Bush's budget. He intentionally goes backwards in time starting at Bush because if he started at the present time and went backward, the arguement collapses.

    I think the current Fiscal policy of the GOP is atrocious, but Suderman just sounds like a partisan when he starts framing the debate the way he does.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Suderman is easily one of the most completely full of shit assholes in this place.

    And he LOVES the expansion of government and wants higher taxes and higher spending (especially on welfare), but he wants the democrats to be the ones doing it.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Suderman IS a partisan. Just not a parasitical force-initiating looter partisan. We're the 4 million who listen closely to what you communist Dems and nationalsocialist Go-Pee urinanalysts say about each other before casting out spoiler votes.

  • Hank Phillips||

    George Waffen Bush signed an EO packing the Executive Branch with mystical looters and handed them asset forfeiture as a bludgeon. Herb Hoover, Reagan/Bush did exactly the same thing and in every case economic disaster was the result. If I put a dollar in a bank, credit expands. If looter fanatics send goons to confiscate that dollar, credit contracts and liquidity is crushed as my neighbors see what's going on and hurry to withdraw their dollars too. Mystical prohibitionism is the leper's bell of the approaching altruist looter.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    it is possible to make the argument that most of the Obama-era deficits were caused by Bush-era policies.

    Not only possible but verifiable.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Strangely enough neither you nor petey did.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Given that the biggest drivers of the deficit, the debt, and the long term disastrous fiscal outlook are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (a.k.a. the Welfare State), it's more possible to make the argument that they're driven by the policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

    Yes, Bush certainly didn't help at all by expanding some of these programs, but the lying asshole you're responding to loves the welfare state, and wouldn't be complaining an iota about the Medicare expansion if it had been another democrat who did it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Economic Downturn and Legacy of Bush Policies Continue to Drive Large Deficits

    https://goo.gl/ww3i3G

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    From Wiki: "CBPP was founded in 1981 by Robert Greenstein, a former political appointee in the Jimmy Carter administration. Greenstein founded the organization, which is based in Washington, D.C., to provide an alternative perspective on the social policy initiatives of the Ronald Reagan administration.[3]

    Your stupid ass picked an actual partisan political organization and were too fucking stupid to realize it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    ad hominem failure.

    It NAMES the Bushpig's programs that ballooned the debt and by how much.

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    It's not an ad hominem you fucking idiot, they say thatthemselves

    Are you ACTUALLY reatrded?

  • Tray Wilshire||

    It NAMES the Bushpig's programs that ballooned the debt and by how much.

    That's really not the point you seem to be incapable of grasping, and it certainly isn't an Ad Hominem.

    You chose what appears to be a political organization fronting as an analysis group, and are mouthpiecing for it.

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    Exactly, he seems to think that yelling "ad hominem!!!" about an organization that has as its mission the refuting of GOP policy means the conclusions they reach aren't specifcally created to refute GOP policy and reach certain conclusions.

    It's their FUCKING MISSION STATEMENT to find ways to denounce GOP policy, but he's too fucking stupid to understand why citing them makes him look like an idiot.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    And Reagan's deficit spending is to be defended?

    It is an ad hominem when you denounce an argument and personally attack the writer.

    IT IS THE BUSHPIG SPENDING THAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!!!

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    "It is an ad hominem when you denounce an argument and personally attack the writer."

    Which isn't what happened, so thank you for finally admitting you were lying.

    The point, which you STILL seem too stupid to grasp, is that THEIR POINTS ARE CRAFTED TO REFUTE GOP POLICY.

    Come on man, you can't be this fucking stupid.

  • Douchebag McEvil||

    IT IS THE BUSHPIG SPENDING THAT IS THE PROBLEM!!!!!

    AND HE'S CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!

    Bush hasn't been in office for a decade, get some mental help.

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    He seems deeply invested in this delusion, to the point where he uncritically accepts the "analysis" of an organization that openly admits it is in the business of refuting GOP policy.

    Not being accurate. Finding a rebuttal to GOP policy.

    But he doesn't understand why

    1) it's not an ad hominem to point that out
    2) he is an idiot for believing them

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    No, it is your welfare spending that is the problem, dumbass: SS, Medicare, and Medicaid. All of those were passed when team blue had control.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And of the 200BB that CBPP claims is due to the bush tax cuts, 80% of those cuts were made permanent by obama, so they're entirely Barry's tax cuts now.

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    "And Reagan's deficit spending is to be defended"

    I mean, look how stupid this point is. No one said this. No one even suggested it. It was a quote from wikipedia. But he doesn't get from it what everyone whose parents aren't related 3 different ways would get from it, that the organization is partisan and needs to be closely fact checked, but instead he gets "And Reagan's deficit spending is to be defended."

    He is so partisan and dumb that pointing out that an organization has political motives somehow becomes defending Reagan.

    How do you converse with someone so intellectually stunted and ideologically intractable?

  • Tray Wilshire||

    How do you converse with someone so intellectually stunted and ideologically intractable?

    I would suggest that you don't, as he doesn't seem to be interested in anything beyond attacking Bush. He admits as much earlier in the thread when he is asked how far back we go to find accountability, and replies "The $3 trillion Bush borrowed to finance his war."

    That is not the product of a well functioning mind.

  • juris imprudent||

    And Reagan's deficit spending is to be defended

    You mean the spending and tax cuts that came out of Tip O'Neill's House, right?

  • Tray Wilshire||

    It is an ad hominem when you denounce an argument and personally attack the writer

    Ehhh, close enough I guess. Now, quote where anyone personally attacked the writer. I don't see the writer listed anywhere.

    No, you see, you continue to get this wrong. It isn't an Ad Hominem. It's just more information.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Actually Reagan's deficit spending had a solid Keynesian multiplyer in contrast to Bush/Obama that had negative Keynesian affect.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Amd Reagan actually cut a deal with the democrats to cut spending in exchange for a few tax hikes. Reagan kept his word, but the democrats reneged. As usual, a democrat is never to be trusted.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    PB, if the democrats didn't lie and cheat, the budget would have been balanced. Reagan agreed to modest tax hikes in return for $3 in spending cuts for every $1 of tax revenue. The democrats got wha they wanted, and then broke their promise. Which is no surprise, as a promise from a democrat is without value.

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    This is another reason no one believes your claim not to be a Democrat.

  • juris imprudent||

    The biggest tell is the constant Obama worship. He may say he is Palin's but he is intractably implanted up O's arse.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Not only possible but verifiable."

    No, it isn't. Bush isn't responsible for the spending choices of Obama and his democrat congress, or the future GOP house members. No one was interested in cutting spending.

  • CE||

    You get to blame the first year on your predecessor. Not the next seven.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Democrats do. They have zero,accountability, ever.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "A" party of fiscal ruin. There are two.

    "But under Clinton, the deficit turned into a technical surplus."

    An economic bubble doesn't make you into a party of fiscal probity.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    A comment from a person that didn't invest $10k in Amazon or EBay or Yahoo and didn't become a millionaire...nothing "irrational" about that exuberance.

  • John C. Randolph||

    But under Clinton, the deficit turned into a technical surplus.

    No thanks to bubba. He wanted to spend like any other Democrat, but with him in the white house, the republicans actually put up a fight.

    -jcr

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Congressional Republicans spent the 90s so focused on taking Clinton down (and Democrats on defending him) that they neglected to notice or do anything about, for example, a notable system of tubes, which is why i'm posting this comment via a dedicated high speed cable line and not a state-of-the-art 56k modem. Truly it was a golden age.

  • Fairbanks||

    Suderman has it all wrong in thinking the new tax bill is problematic. Deficits per se are not the problem. Government spending is the problem. To the extent rising deficits reflect rising spending that's a problem. But if rising deficits reflect lower taxes that is not a problem. That's simply a choice about the timing of funding spending.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Socially liberal, fiscally convenient.

  • BYODB||

    Yep, Republicans are clearly lying through their teeth when they say they care about fiscal issues as a whole. Sure, there are a few individual guys that seem to care but by and large the party does not. Their recent budget has proven this, I think.


    What's weird is that I can't think of even one Democrat that seems to care about fiscal issues beyond 'more spending, more taxes' though.


    Where are these fiscal hawks on team blue, one might ask? Do they even exist? That's not a point in favor of either party, but it is a little unusual.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You won't like the answer but Obama campaigned on halving the deficit, then did so, then supported cuts in SS COLA increases and fiscal reform such as Simpson Bowles.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Obama REJECTED Simpson Bowles, Weigel you lying piece of garbage. I really wish someone would knock your lying teeth right out of your skull.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Shut up, you lying GOP asswipe.

    Obama put Simpson Bowles into the WH budget.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    You are such a liar it's hilarious

    Do the world and your poor family a favor and just give in to those suicidal urges once and for all, you "sad clown".

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Is it just me, or does anyone else like to watch a fight between a buttplug and a cock ring?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Obama put Simpson Bowles into the WH budget."

    In his $4 trillion budget requests?

  • BYODB||

    Odd then that it wasn't adopted. It's also a little odd that we still managed to double debt, but I already know you'll ignore Team Blue and castigate Team Red, as is your nature.

    You'll blame Bush for Obama's Keynesian plans until the day you die, which is somewhat amusing since Bush was essentially a RINO that aligned more with Democrats or Republicans from the turn of the century although these days it's become a little more clear that the real RINO's are guys like the Freedom Caucus. Bush was just the tip of that iceberg.

    You're a rabid partisan, it's all to clear to anyone with more than a single brain cell to rub together. You have zero credibility left, and you only have yourself to blame for that.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I live in the world of facts, unlike you GOPers.

    Obama signed the largest budget cuts in history (Budget Control Act of 2011) and actively worked to halve the deficit.

    Those facts run counter-narrative to wingnut Fox News talking points.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The house passed a budget in 2014 that was on a balance trajectory. Barry never did. Why did he oppose it?

  • BYODB||

    So I'm supposed to fellate the Democrats because their deficits are smaller. Hmm...what does it imply about Democrats when they expect to be lauded for continuing to run deficits? The answer is obvious: they also expect to tax me more.

    I'll choose the party that runs deficits but lets me keep more money any day of the week, because I can put that excess income into vehicles that better shield me from their retarded policies.

    This should be basic common sense.

  • DarrenM||

    halving the deficit, then did so

    That's not what the chart here shows, but then Wikipedia has always been full of right-wing disinformation.

    LINK

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama pledges to halve budget deficit by 2013
    Jeff Mason, Caren Bohan
    5 MIN READ

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama pledged on Monday to cut the ballooning U.S. budget deficit by half in the next four years and said the country would face another economic crisis if it did not address its debt problems soon.

  • BYODB||

    But he didn't, so he doesn't get any credit. That's what 'lip service' mean's, retard.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    He did too - albeit in 2015 and not "four years".

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The house forced him. He never did it voluntarily.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Yep. Sequestration.

  • BYODB||

    And you misunderstand the point. The President can't do anything about the U.S. budget deficit unless they just refuse to spend the money they're given, which he didn't do.

    Of course, Trump is potentially worse than Obama on a lot of issues. I figured as much when I heard Bernie Sanders words coming out of the Republican nominee's mouth.

  • DarrenM||

    No, he did not. These are spreadsheets from the OMB. Table 1.2 is as a percentage of GDP. If you care to look, it will be obvious that Obama did NOT reduce the deficit.
    CLICK HERE

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Obama certainly never made any effort to cut spending. He was way out front in proposing $4 trillion budgets before they actually came into fashion.

  • tlapp||

    I don't give much credibility to the CBO, just look at their history for yourself.

    What we have is the big government party that wants tax cuts vs, the unlimited government party that wants ever higher taxes. Neither can lay claim to any fiscal responsibility. The majority of voters vote as children that get to vote for the parents that say yes to all the toys and candy.
    This won't end well. But those of us on this site already recognize that fact.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    As the Democratic Party loses a bunch of seats this November and dies off completely as a political force. Libertarians can swoop in there and be direct competition politically for Republicans.

  • Tony||

    I feel dumb for not realizing until now that you're a parody handle.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That is far from the only reason you should feel dumb.

  • Tony||

    I gather from all of Reason (not the articles, the readers) that I'm dumb because I don't think Trump is the bestest president ever. Which logically can only mean I'm dumb for not getting all my thoughts from that Fratfuck, Tits McGee, and Steve Doocy on that show. Which I must suggest is not terribly convincing, so do better.

  • Tray Wilshire||

    I gather from all of Reason (not the articles, the readers) that I'm dumb because I don't think Trump is the bestest president ever.

    That you admit this is what you gathered from Reason, yes, is another reason for you to feel dumb, that was an excellent come to jesus moment for you, it shows some real personal growth to admit your judgement isn't up to the task of conversing without misunderstanding the arguments presented to you.

  • BYODB||

    I like how you lump all of us in with guys like Loveconstitution and John as if theirs is the only opinion around, even while half of the commenters here bash on them almost as much as they do on you.

    As much as I disagree with them on a lot of issues, they still manage to be correct more often than you do.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    If that's what you've gathered from your years of visiting this forum, then i'm'a revise my original statement to say "really, really fucking dumb."

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You're dumb because you're a fucking progressive. Which also makes you evil.

  • Tony||

    The we're-so-reasonable majority here who totally hate Trump to the extent he deserves it based on their own political worldview say: you're not helping us lie!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    But you are a liar Tony. I've explained how and why you're evil many times. You should really reflect on that and do the world a favor and leave it. You increase misery with every breath you take. So perhaps you should do the right thing for once and breathe no more.

    No one really wants to be espnslaved by your progressive tyranny.

  • James Pollock||

    "As the Democratic Party loses a bunch of seats this November and dies off completely as a political force. Libertarians can swoop in there and be direct competition politically for Republicans."

    As prognostications go, this is about even with "The Browns are an absolute LOCK for the Super Bowl this year."

    The D's will win in their gerrymandered districts, and lose in the Rs' gerrymandered districts, and, as is pretty much usually the case, will win some seats in the actually competitive districts. The Libertarian Party will continue to hover at around 5% of votes cast, overall, although they will continue to have influence on other candidates.

    If anything, I'd guess that the number of voters who choose not to be affiliated with any party will show the most growth, particularly in the media markets that draw the most political ad buys.

  • CE||

    We were going to swoop in last time when the Republican Party dies off completely as a political force. It never happens.

  • Jerryskids||

    Republicans criticized Obama's budgeting relentlessly

    Yes they did, to great effect at the ballot-box. And now they're mostly quiet about Trump's budgeting. Maybe the problem is that the President shouldn't be in charge of budgeting. As head of the executive branch, the President's budgeting tends to run toward asking the executive branch agencies how much money they need - "More!" - and that's the budget. If the legislative branch were in charge of budgeting, maybe they could look at the legislation they've passed and estimate how much implementing and enforcing that legislation should cost and that's how they would determine a budget. If the agencies complain that they need more money, investigate to find out what they did with the money you gave them and why it wasn't enough to get the job done.

    If I need a new roof, I don't just ask the roofer how much money he needs, I do some checking to find out what a new roof should cost and that's the price point. If the roofer comes back and tells me he needs another thousand to finish the job, I'm going to be asking why. Was he stealing the money? Adding a gazebo to the back yard which wasn't part of the deal? Buying the finest hand-crafted shingles at the shingle boutique instead of the regular ones at the supply house? Didn't realize the roofing job was going to require more than one bundle of shingles and badly mis-priced the job to begin with?

  • CE||

    The problem is Republicans like tax cuts, and they also like spending on wars, and they also like not cutting benefits to wealthy older people and they never bother to shut down any government departments. So all they can do is cut taxes while spending keeps going up.

  • Josh The Radio Dude||

    Overall, the point is correct, but let's face it: Ryan talked a big game on the deficit, but when it comes to actually doing something about it, his efforts fell flat. He's just as complicit in that lack of fiscal responsibility as the rest of his party.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Yes, Ryan and many of his fellow republicans are thoroughly dishonest, but so are most of these charlatans at Reason today like Suderman.

    Ask yourself this: why doesn't Reason ever just directly come out and call on both parties to significantly reduce the big so-called "mandatory" welfare programs that are the real major drivers of our modern debt? The answer is because they don't actually want that! Suderman went hysterical like the little bitch that he is when it looked like there was a small chance that Medicaid might get cut.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    What are you talking about? Reason posts 1 article on the topic most years. That counts, right? Now back to our regular schedule of ENB's sexual concerns and open borders.

  • BYODB||

    Reason is perhaps attempting to change the image of libertarians as Republicans in favor of open borders, pot, and sex issues into Democrats who care about fiscal issues?

    I'm not even really sure what Reason stands for these days beyond open borders. It's the only consistent track I can think of offhand.

  • DarrenM||

    his efforts fell flat

    What efforts were made that were for more than show?

  • CE||

    But by talking about cutting Social Security, he did help Romney lose.

  • Tony||

    The sick thing is that as they spend the country's money like a billion drunken Scott Pruitts, their hope has been that they literally spend it into oblivion, that some day enough misery will result that they can legitimately pretend to have no choice but to cut social programs. But they proved themselves wrong on how much US debt matters in the real world, and so were never able to get to the next round in their sociopathic little game. Not that it matters all that much to the billionaires and defense contractors who got their loot regardless.

  • Tray Wilshire||

    But they proved themselves wrong on how much US debt matters in the real world

    ?

    History isn't finished. This seems..
    premature? Ignorant? Oblivious to reality? I can't really decide which.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps Trump is part of the plan. Diminish the US so much that its debt starts to matter.

  • Tray Wilshire||

    Perhaps, but that doesn't make your point any less incoherent, nor mine less accurate.

  • Cuauhtémoc||

    The Chinese have been notably, publicly reconsidering their policy of buying US debt. You're not even factually correct you fucking clown.q

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Funny how you can't find anything wrong with the 2.5TT in welfare spending. Consumption boosts the economy and males us all richer, right?

  • Tony||

    I'd love to reduce welfare spending with a jobs agenda that increases wages enough to ease the welfare rolls. Oh, you're opposed to anything that would achieve that?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Trump's agenda has been increasing jobs. Unlike the Lightbringer, who destroyed industry after industry. You do understand that taxes and regulations are job kryptonite, right?

  • CE||

    Liberals always claim that social program cuts are Step Two of the Republican con game, but I've yet to see any cuts.

  • Iheartskeet||

    What a piece of shit article. Coming off an interview with Justin Amash (R), and interviews with various other serious budget hawks (Paul, etc., all Rs), its especially strange. B-b-b-but it all Republican's fault !

    Just who is it he's recommending we vote for ?
    Libertarians ? Would love to.
    Democrats ? HAWHAWHAWHAWHAW WAVE FISCAL RESTRAINT GOODBYE

    That leaves us with a small set of Rs, and our only realistic hope is to get more RLC types. 40% of Rs in congress voted against their own congressional leadership and president on this spending bill.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    There are 2, count them with me - 2, libertarian-like Republicans in Congress: Amash and Paul. On the Dem side, there are zero. God knows why, there used to be 60s hippies who were anti-war, pro protecting rights and individual liberty, and didn't like the fuzz going after victimless crimes like drugs and sex.

    But, regardless, when you can find only 2 decent apples among several barrels of rotting, worm-covered apples, you still throw all of it away.

  • Iheartskeet||

    More than two...as I note 40% of R's voted against the spending bill. 40% of D's voted against it too, but if anecdotes I've read are representative, they voted no because it didn't have ENOUGH spending.

    Then there is the Republican Liberty Caucus. I am not sure how many are in it, but its more than two !

    Indeed, check out the Liberty Index put out by the RLC. For sure the R liberty scores have gotten worse since 2015, but I suspect the Ds scores have got worse still. Anyway, this tells me, on balance, which party is more libertarian.

    http://rlc.org/article/rlc-vir.....bery-index

  • DarrenM||

    I am tired of expecting anything resembling fiscal responsibility from either Democrats or Republicans. Plan B is to cut taxes and hope things will be better than a static analysis might indicate. With Democrats, I already know it means spending out the wazoo then increasing taxes for the sole purpose of enabling even more spending, but then I live in California. Divided government is still probably the least bad situation, though I'd still prefer Republicans selecting SCOTUS members.

  • bernard11||

    "Finally revealed?" Finally?

    Really? Only to those who have kept their eyes shut for a long time.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Oh, like the Donks aren't even worse!
    The entire system is institutionally corrupted.
    If your Congressman/Senator isn't committed to the repeal of the '74 Budget Act, and it's imposition of Base-Line Budgeting, then your voice in Congress will never be heard.
    To get spending under control, at the least we need Zero-based Budgeting, and Automatic Sun-setting of all programs.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    What the fuck is base line budgeting?

  • Flinch||

    Autopilot: congress spends without debate or oversight, and automatic spending increases are baked in. Congress has ceded enough power to the executive branch as to be totally, completely useless.

  • The Metonymy||

    Beneath federally owned land and offshore lies over $128 Trillion in untapped oil and gas reserves. Why are we giving the government interest-free loans (taxes) when they,'re sitting on resources that can pay off their debt over 6 times?

    (Rhetorical question)

  • Tony||

    The right has become so insane that it wants to destroy the habitability of planet earth just to get one last rhetorical shot at libruls: "Fuck you libruls, I'll do what I want!"

    or

    You think a) burning oil has no very harmful physical effects on the environment and b) demand and supply magically increase at the same rate together.

  • Mark22||

    You think a) burning oil has no very harmful physical effects on the environment

    Actually, I think it has net beneficial effects on the environment. Except for those Democratic billionaires and their coastal mansions.

  • The Metonymy||

    All I know is my car produces less emissions than a California wildfire.

  • Mark22||

    Your car likely produces less emissions than Feinstein's farts of outrage.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "The right has become so insane that it wants to destroy the habitability of planet earth"

    'The right' isn't in charge, dumbass. Either Trump, nor the bulk of congressional republicans are on 'the right'.

    Also, you have no idea what you're talking about when you discuss the environment.

  • PeterElfvin||

    The national debt is currently over 20 trillion dollars, about the same as the GDP. Since each dollar printed is a debt instrument, it is likely that, whatever the GDP is in any future year, it will about equal the national debt. For 40 years the Democratic party controlled the house of reps and utilized their political skills to warp the economic stresses on businesses during Republican administrations. Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, all saw economic downturns. Reagan managed to decrease taxes to 28%, but had to contend with budgets that were horribly inflated in areas that would not economically benefit the US.

  • Mark22||

    The national debt is currently over 20 trillion dollars, about the same as the GDP.

    So what? It's numbers on a piece of paper. The US government can print as much new money as it likes to pay it off. That's on top of the vast amounts of property and resources the US government owns and should sell anyway.

  • CE||

    But GDP includes 4 trillion in government spending. The host is only producing 16 trillion in wealth for the parasite, which is taking 3 trillion of it every year and tacking another 1 trillion onto the debt. So at this rate the debt will never be paid off.

    A 20 trillion dollar federal debt with a 20 trillion GDP is not like a family owing 100 percent of their annual income. It's like a family owing 700 percent of their annual income (3 trillion a year in taxes into 20 trillion in debt).

  • Rockabilly||

    you jackasses in the GOP should be ashamed making the goobermint bigger with these bs laws and regulations and what have you. Why don't you join the socialist party.

  • Flinch||

    What budget? We have continuing resolutions and an omnibus bill. Ryan is an epic failure, considering his party is in total control... or is it? I'm thinking we are on the cusp of the veil being dropped, and a uniparty emerging.

  • James Pollock||

    "Republicans Have Finally Been Revealed as the Party of Fiscal Ruin"

    For people who were paying attention, this revelation occurred a decade-and-a-half ago, when they took over a government that was running a surplus and promptly ran it into deficits again.

    There's a case that Reaganomimcs showed that the R's didn't REALLY understand economics as much as they pretended to.

    Here's a handy guide for future reference.

    When Republicans are OUT OF power, they talk a lot about fiscal restraint and cutting spending.
    When Republicans are IN power, they talk a lot about fiscal restraint and cutting spending, and then increase spending.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    And here's the missing page in your handy guide:

    When Democrats are OUT of power, they talk a lot about protecting civil rights and staying out of foreign conflicts.

    When they are IN power, they violate civil rights and double-down on foreign wars, plus start new ones and then laugh and say, "Who me? Nah!"

    Wake up! The two parties are the same group of rulers.

  • Mark22||

    Wake up! The two parties are the same group of rulers.

    You say that as if it could be otherwise. In fact, any group of people in any political system need to attract enough supporters to stay in power.

    Balancing the budget generally doesn't have enough support to give people a political power base. That's because balancing the budget is largely an intellectual exercise with no particular benefits to voters. Some people believe that it's of benefit to future voters, and while I think that's mistaken in the case of the US, future voters don't vote right now anyway.

  • Mark22||

    Republicans Have Finally Been Revealed as the Party of Fiscal Ruin
    As Paul Ryan exits, a new CBO report confirms the extent of the GOP's damage to the nation's budget.

    You say that as if that's a bad thing.

  • vek||

    Stupid GOP. If they actually cut spending, I have a feeling they would do even better with most voters.

    That said, it is a tricky question to grapple with, lower taxes versus lower deficits. Spending is obviously the real problem... But if you can only get one of those things, which one wins? Obviously they voted for lower taxes. You can make a decent argument that this is in fact better for the long term growth of the economy since we just have a fiat currency anyway...

  • CE||

    Voters in all 50 states had the option to vote for spending cuts in the presidential election. 97 percent of them chose not to.

  • The Metonymy||

    We have government databases filled with the knowledge of names and.addresses of everyone on Medicare and Medicaid, and precision guided munitions. This problem could be solved in less than a month.

    Er,.I mean, we should really trust the government to run things.

    /sarc

  • Liberty Lover||

    HEADLINE: Republicans Have Finally Been Revealed as the Party of Fiscal Ruin. LOL,

    Where has Reason been for over the last 100 years? So far every Republican president has out spent his Democratic predecessor. (Obama/Trump not done yet, but it doesn't look good) The biggest spenders have always been a Republican president and Republican congress. Sometime the rhetoric doesn't match the actions. But hey, you BELIEVE!

  • ThomasJK||

    It is a natural impossibility for a government to transfer and redistribute an amount of prosperity (money) without at the same time transferring and redistributing an amount of poverty (cost) that is greater than the amount of prosperity that is being redistributed. When governments grow larger and/or more numerous and become more "useful" it is naturally inevitable and mathematically unavoidable that the number of the governed who are experiencing poverty and economic hardship will also grow.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    They came up with a brilliant strategy that applies the divide and conquer tactic of Ancient Rome.

    Single-party dictatorship probably wouldn't fly In The US, at least not for long without unrest: so the leaders invested two party dictatorship.

    They pretend to have differences (fiscal responsibility, taxes, abortion) so they can get a gullible public riled up to vote for either Tweedledum or Tweedledee every couple years. But there is no real difference. It's a con. They rule us, and that's the end of it.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    They invented two-part dictatorship, not invested.

    It's actually a smart move. Parents do it to kids, but benignly, when they present "choices" like earting peas or broccoli.

    Democrats vs Republicans is not a REAL choice, and unlike eating veggies, neither one is good for you.

  • para_dimz||

    Could it be the bloated budget was a set up for us? That it has geen the plan to cut the bloat a little bit in the fall so as to declare themselves fiscal conservatives? I bet a nickel.

  • TxJack 112||

    No what happened is you have two GOP leaders and underlings who lack any spine or ability to effectively make a case, so they buckle to Dems demands. They think they are still living in an Obama world even though the evidence is the opposite. They caved to avoid a government shutdown, thinking like during the Obama era, they would be blamed by media and they would lose midterms. Problem is, they do not grasp most people no longer trust or listen to MSM which is why Dems quickly ended last shutdown. In spite of media attempting to blame GOP, public blamed Dems. In addition, the system is so broken anyone who actually attempts to keep their promises is called radical or insane by RINOs like McCain, Flake, Ryan, McConnell and others. The GOP like the Dems only cares about getting re-election, not governing. Congress has not cared about governing since the Clinton era. We have very few statesmen in either chamber but we have an abundance of politicians. Ask yourself how does anyone honestly and legally become a multi-millionaire on a government salary? Yet we have scores of people in both Houses who have been on a government salary for decades but have done just that, become multi-millionaires.

  • Mark22||

    Can someone explain to me how deficit spending violates the NAP?

    When the US government borrows money, are there any involuntary transaction involved?

    When the US government hands out borrowed money, are there any involuntary transactions involved?

    When the US government lowers taxes to increase the deficit, are there any involuntary transactions involved?

    When the US government inflates the currency and prints more money to pay off the interest/debt, are there any involuntary transactions involved?

    So why this silly obsession with the debt/deficit?

  • CE||

    Ummm, because they promise to repay the debt by taxing (stealing) the money from taxpayers in the future?

  • CE||

    And when the feds inflate the currency, it steals value from the pile of cash I currently own.

  • Star1988||

    Why should the masses care about deficits? The bottom 50% have zero wealth. And the bottom 80% have limited wealth. So if the Fed just fires up the presses and prints money to pay off the debt, what's it to them?

  • RodgerMitchell||

    This article is misleading. The so-called federal debt is not a burden on the government or on taxpayers. The federal debt has risen 37,500% since 1940, and every day since 1940, someone says the debt is a "ticking time bomb. See: http://bit.ly/2Hj8EHG

    Pretty slow time bomb, isn't it?

    The truth: Federal deficit spending is absolutely necessary for economic growth.

    This graph proves that reductions in deficit growth lead to recessions and increases in deficit growth cure recessions: http://bit.ly/2IONFcF

    Learn the facts.

  • CE||

    Yeah, jumping off a cliff can be exhilarating for a while too, but it would be a good idea to bring a hang glider or a parachute of some kind.

  • CE||

    All the voters who care about the federal debt could have voted for Gary Johnson. He got 3 percent of the vote.

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