Free Minds & Free Markets

In Memoriam: The GOP Pretending to Care About Fiscal Restraint

The new two-year budget deal will result in a $1 trillion deficit.

Congress is "spending us into oblivion," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said in a blistering speech on the Senate floor yesterday.

This morning, President Donald Trump signed a massive new spending bill that will increase the discretionary budget by about $400 billion.

In memoriam: The GOP once actually pretended to care about fiscal restraint.

Produced by Austin Bragg and Meredith Bragg.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Like us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

Subscribe to our podcast at iTunes.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    When did they care?

    Wait I know, when the other party is in office.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    When they can't do anything about it.

  • Michael Hihn||

    We also had the obscene spectacle of Rand Paul grandstanding for his cult -- hoping they'll forget his vote FOR over $2 TRILLION in new "crushing" debt ... for a tax cut ... knowing it was IMPOSSIBLE that spending would be cut a single penny.

    His cult beats their chests, screaming, "Tax cuts let me get my own money back." Precious snowflakes don't know the money is NOT theirs. It's NEW theft. from their own children and grandchildren -- if spending us not cut to match.

    Once upon a time, fiscal conservatives were the first and loudest to proclaim that borrowing is new debt on our own children. Now it's all drowned out by lust for power

    Fiscal Liberals borrow trillions to provide free stuff.
    Fiscal Conservatives borrow trillions to provide free tax cuts.
    Both cults beam in self-righteous pride, hanging from puppet strings

    Still true .. Left - Right = Zer0

  • BigT||

    "Fiscal Conservatives borrow trillions to provide free tax cuts."

    How does that work? Did they send out checks? If so, I'm complaining since I didn't get mine,

  • Michael Hihn||

    There's a LOT you don't get.
    When you gain employment, they'll SHOW you how withholding works, since I doubt you'd understand a mere explanation here.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So, the Democrats spend America into oblivion and want a bunch of rules under a Police/Nanny State.

    The Republicans spend America into oblivion and want a bunch of the same and different rules under a Police/Nanny State.

    Maybe this is the time of the Libertarians. The only major group that wants fiscal conservatism and social freedoms.

  • Longtobefree||

    Not gonna happen dreamer - - - -
    Libertarians don't buy votes with tax dollars.
    So they don't stay elected even if they accidentally get into office for one term.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Libertarians don't buy votes with tax dollars.

    Rand Paul did, presumably, by voting for over $2 trillion in new debt to pay for tax cuts, KNOWING is would be impossible to reduce spending by a single penny ... then shut down the federal government by grandstanding about our debt! Then again, he's no libertarian.

    So they don't stay elected even if they accidentally get into office for one term.

    Sure we do. When I ran the WA LP, a libertarian chaired the House Finance Committee. Another had been a mayor for nearly 10 years, a handful of city council members, and maybe a dozen on local and county boards and commissions.

    Those of us who want to ACHIEVE something, instead of posturing and spouting theories, run in non-partisan races or under amajor party. The committee chair had been elected to a large local school board, then got elected to the legislature as a Republican, founded a BIPARTISAN Liberty Caucus and rose to Committee Chair. He then retired and rejoined the LP.

    I had him write "policy" advice for our newsletter. My favorite was drugs. By LISTENING, he learned that many parents oppose legalization because they don't want their kids to see it. So HIS legalization was to make public usage a misdemeanor, like a parking ticket. This was the late 90s, well before legalization would happen, but his idea got us started with voters listening who would not otherwise.

  • Flinch||

    Fair point. The only remedy for this I can see working long term is to beat up on pickpocket politics for what it is: neighbors stealing from neighbors - with the federal government taking a 40% cut every time for their facilitation and handling of legal theft.

  • The Last American Hero||

    You mean a Libertarian Moment?


  • HeteroPatriarch||

    I prefer "classical liberal juncture."

  • Deflator Mouse||

    Which police/nanny state rules do Republicans support that Dems don't? I can't think of any.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Virtually the entire slate of the extreme socons. Most of Ron Paul's police-state actions were as a Republican, mostly socon (but more statist), and his KKK version of he constitution. The drug war. Quite a bit.

  • Pompey:何 Class Mothersmucker||

    The drug war.

    Chortle. Oh you, never change.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You REALLY believe it's NOT Republicans supporting the drug war!!!!
    Or perhaps sentence structure. "Quite a bit" should have been a clue!
    Commas as a series, vs periods?


  • Michael Hihn||

    LC1789 ... see the self-righteous looter .. MORAL FRAUD

    Maybe this is the time of the Libertarians. The only major group that wants fiscal conservatism and social freedoms.

    (sneer) No LIBERTARIAN would EVER ... describe his own father: LIKE THIS:

    My retired father loves politics and we often discuss the nature of things.
    I cannot get him to openly discuss social security and medicare reform with cuts. He is just hoping to check out before our debt crushes the USA. Its selfish as shit

    His father is "selfish shit" ... his own father! ... but MORE "crushing debt" is okay ... IF IT LINES HIS POCKETS INSTEAD OF HIS FATHER'S .... while defending over over $2 trillion dollars in NEW debt ... LOOTED from his own children!

    What sort of :"libertarian" would fuck his father and screw his own children ... to enrich himself ... because he's "entitled" to? The new Entitlement Mentality!

    Would YOU be proud of a son like that? A father? And SO self-righteous?

  • Flinch||

    The debt is no problem... if spending can be restrained. Whatever happened to the so called 'penny plan'? DC's spending problem exceeds GDP: a 100% tax next year would not close the books on it. It's worth underlining that without any active spending boost via legislation that the government is already on autopilot to increase it anyway - the routine of 'baseline budgeting' that has agencies and programs lined out for automatic increases of double the rate of inflation. What McConnell & co have proposed is a super increase to spending, and its plain stupid: there is zero chance the NYT or Washington Post are going to give favorable or even neutral coverage - not with Trump in the WH. Hard to stomach seeing a party in the clutches of stupid to such a degree that being mauled by a grizzly looks like a light scratch.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The debt is no problem... if spending can be restrained

    Yeah, the $2 trillion tax cut will increase Argentina's debtI

    Left - Right = Zero

  • Longtobefree||

    For a news site, you guys are a few decades behind the curve.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The real question is, will we notice?

  • RightWingA**hole||

    We will only notice when the markets are finally scared that they won't get their haircut. With interest rates rising, lots of interesting things are going to start happening. Good thing the Dems/Reps got their spending in before it starts...

  • Michael Hihn||

    No, the question is, will you care?
    Or make lame excuses?

  • XM||

    What about the DACA kids? How many dems held out to give them amnesty?

    The government shutdowns were pointless. The republicans undid what little they achieved when THEY shut down the government a few years ago. The dems shut down the government for like 5 seconds and got nothing for the dreamers.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    They don't care about them. It's just for show. Government is 90% Kabuki theater.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Exactly, the only fucks either tribe gives is about possible voting stiffs or keeping aforementioned stiffs from voting against them.

  • Rockabilly||

    Johnny Cash - After Taxes

    Nesta música incluída no álbum "I Would Like to See You Again", de 1978, Johnny Cash compartilha conosco um pouco do que ele sente - e que todos nós sentimos - quando vemos nosso dinheiro suado escoando pelo ralo do sistema tributário, carinhosamente apelidado no Brasil de "a mordida do leão".

    There goes my new Pontiac.

    Man, that's heart breakin!

  • Jerryskids||

    But if Hillary had been elected, the deficit would be like 2 trillion so really they've cut spending by a cool trillion. Winning!

  • Wearenotperfect||

    I love your enthusiasm!

  • Fucksake||

    Except that's probably not true. Spending would have been moderated by the Republican Congress and there wouldn't have been a tax cut.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, gridlock would be much better than one party control.

  • vek||

    But gridlock is exactly what we have, since the Rs don't have the votes to ram whatever they want through the senate. TRUE party control got us Obamacare. Frankly I'm salivating at the thought of the Rs picking up enough seats to pass whatever they want this election... I don't actually think it will happen, but it'd be pretty fucking sweet. They'd piss away a bunch of money on stupid military shit, but some OTHER spending cuts might actually happen, and some bigly deregulation as well.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    Funny how you complained about the GOP congress for the last 6 years of Obama....

  • The Last American Hero||

    It is predictable and it is sad that the fiscal conservatives in congress hold about 1% of the seats.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    It really is the only time a guy can relax, if the infighting is at fever pitch they can't fuck much up.

  • Don't look at me.||

    Vote everyone out. Every time.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Aun Rand takes Social Security, like the crazy hypocritical bitch she is!

    Why don't you libertarians go live in the mountains wheee you belong, you hypocrites?

    Oh, because there aren't any cops out there, right, you crazy dumb hypocrites!

  • vek||

    LOL WUT?

    I'll take back some of the money the government stole from me through SS if it is still solvent by the time I'm eligible... But I doubt it will be. That said, I have specifically NOT accepted other forms of welfare I was entitled to. I could have collected unemployment a couple times, but did not on principle. I've never tried to apply for anything else either, although I probably would have been eligible for some freebies in my early 20s when I was more broke.

    As for moving to the mountains... Not the mountains, but smaller cities in Idaho are in my future to try to escape as much of the communism as I can!

  • BigT||

    I was forced against my will to participate in SS with obligations on my part and on the govts part. I have upheld my part of the bargain for 50 years, and now you can be damned sure I will demand the govt uphold its part of the bargain - although it has already modified it by making me wait an additional year to get my full SS.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Umm, she's been dead for 36 years now. You're an ignorant liar. And drive-by shooter.

    It is morally defensible for those who decry publicly-funded scholarships, Social Security benefits, and unemployment insurance to turn around and accept them, Rand argued, because the government had taken money from them by force (via taxes). There's only one catch: the recipient must regard the receipt of said benefits as restitution, not a social entitlement.

    When you learn to read, you MAY learn that she was no dumbass anarchist. She was precisely Jeffersonian, in that ANY government is both just and moral, if based on consent of the governed. Are you denying the right of people to form voluntary associations?

  • Deflator Mouse||

    Funny that Reason never did an "in memoriam" post for the Democrats caring about civil liberties, interventionist foreign policy, etc.

  • BigT||

    They weren't around in the 60's

  • Michael Hihn||

    MEOW. 1968.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Isn't 1 trillion over two years a *decrease* what it was for most of the Obama administration?

    Four Obama years were over a trillion *each*.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (snort) Obama's trillions were coming out of a major financial collapse and recession.
    The Trump/GOP trillions are deep into one of the longest recoveries ever. Shame on you for defending that.

    Are you as big a hypocrite as Rand Paul ...who DEFENDED his vote to increase federal debt by over $2 trillion ... KNOWING it would be impossible to reduce spending by a single penny ...then caused a government shutdown as he WHINED about increasing the debt by MUCH LESS THAN HE VOTED FOR.

    Fiscal liberals borrow trillions for free stuff
    Phony libertarians/conservatives borrow trillions for free tax cuts.
    Both steal from their own children and grandchildren to buy votes. Both with self-righteous fervor

    Left - Right = Zero

  • BigT||

    Don't worry the GOP's caring about the deficit/debt will rise from the dead on the third year if/when they lose the majority.

  • Jimothy||

    In lieu of flowers, please send money. A couple trillion will do.

  • Flinch||

    You know what we need? We need a president that demands a return to regular order [buried by LBJ's big government]. Most of us weren't born yet, but that means funding agency by agency, program by program which opens actual questions and debate on a regular and recurring basis. If the orange one would grasp this... we can re-ignite something congress hasn't done in decades: oversight. Paul Ryan has never seen it in action, and doesn't know where to begin, on account of his mentor was too busy picking out pink ties between binging on bourbon.
    If it's an omnibus bill... automatic veto. Time to apply defibrillator action to a dead governing body. It may not happen, but it should be at least considered if Trump wants to instruct and reform a party operating for over a decade with no philosophy of governance.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Congress would simply override his veto

  • Praveen R.||

    I would like to see more republican outrage over Scott Pruitt's wasteful first class travel. The excuse they give of threatening letters is ridiculous. AS if sitting in first class will prevent someone from stabbing him in the plane.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online