In 1996, President Clinton declared, "the era of big government is over."
Of course, the era of big government wasn't over, but the rate of government growth slowed a bit during the years 1995-2000, as Clinton and his Republican Congress worked together in a bipartisan, yet acrimonious, fashion.
In 2009, when President Obama unveiled his massive $3.6 trillion budget for 2010, House minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) said, "the era of big government is back."
One wonders if Boehner slept through the entire Bush administration if he only realized big government was back in 2009. President Bush's administration was big government personified. In 2000, federal spending was $1.789 billion. In 2008, it was $2.983 billion. Bush increased the size of government by one third in eight short years. Bush never vetoed a spending bill. Bush started the first major entitlement program since LBJ's Great Society in the 1960's. The Federal Register (the book of regulations) grew immensely under Bush. Bush ran huge deficits and nearly doubled the national debt. He engaged in further centralization of education, fought two wars, and bailed out corporations. Even Bush's one economic conservative idea, tax cuts, has to be put in perspective, because, as nobel winning economist Milton Friedman pointed out, it's actually government spending, not taxation, that is the true gauge of the government's burden on the taxpayers. The money the government spends has to come from somewhere. Borrowing it is every bit as damaging to the people as extracting it via taxation, and even moreso, because interest has to be paid on the borrowed money, and the government will eventually have to spark inflation to manage the debt. The Republicans claim that they favored free markets during the Bush years is a hypocritical farce. If Bush was a fiscal conservative, I'm a chimpanzee.
Even more hypocritically, Democrats, who are pushing for even MORE big government control than the big government Bush, are pretending our current financial problems are all the result of Bush's failed laissez faire, conservative, free market policies. This is in spite of the fact that the last significant deregulation of the banking industry came during the Clinton years, with the repeal of New Deal regulations separating commercial and investment banking. Guess who Clinton's Treasury Secretary was when those regulations were repealed ? That would be Larry Summers, now President Obama's top economic advisor.
What I'm telling you is - you're being served up a big old steaming pile of horse manure by BOTH major political parties. And they both think you're too stupid to figure it out. About the only difference I can determine between the two parties, based upon the Obama administration's performance to date, is this - Republicans will grow spending. Democrats will grow it even more. That leaves Americans with a choice between bad and worse. Back in 2008, when it appeared Obama would become the next president, I wrote that it would be like going from the frying pan into the fire. Sadly, that is exactly how it is turning out.
I'd also like to offer up a correction to the right-wing's charge that Obama is engaging in socialism. I don't think that's completely correct. What Obama is engaging in is more (another) step toward economic fascism. Under socialism, government controls the means of production. Obama isn't really proposing that. We will still have private companies with Obama. Under economic fasicsm, however, government dictates to private companies how they will operate. That fits Obama to a tee. Tell me if these excerpts from the preceding link sound anything like the Obama administration:
Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Planning boards set product lines, production levels, prices, wages, working conditions...Licensing was ubiquitous; no economic activity could be undertaken without government permission. Levels of consumption were dictated by the state, and “excess” incomes had to be surrendered as taxes or “loans.” The consequent burdening of manufacturers gave advantages to foreign firms wishing to export...Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry... To maintain high employment and minimize popular discontent, fascist governments also undertook massive public-works projects financed by steep taxes, borrowing, and fiat money creation...many of these projects were domestic—roads, buildings, stadiums...Mussolini’s corporate state “consider[ed] private initiative in production the most effective instrument to protect national interests.” But the meaning of “initiative” differed significantly from its meaning in a market economy. Labor and management were organized into twenty-two industry and trade “corporations,” (unions) each with Fascist Party members as senior participants.
I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
It's only eight days until the Cleveland Tax Day Tea Party at Mall C on April 15th. Be there, or be a government drone square. Volunteer help is also needed. It's time to REALLY Take Back America.
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