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Both parties love big government _ just different programs

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    By Steven Thomma, Mcclatchy Newspapers – Thu Mar 5, 4:39 pm ET

    WASHINGTON — Strip away the political finger pointing over President Obama's proposed budget and the fight boils down to a clash of values. Both major parties are really for big government — just big in different places.

    Republicans say they're outraged that Obama would "borrow and spend" his way to a new behemoth government. But they borrowed and spent their way through the '80s and the current decade. And they love big government — when it's at the Pentagon .

    Democrats from Obama on down insist that they don't like big government, that they're just forced into a temporary spending spree by the recession. But Democrats love big government as well, when it's for social programs such as universal health care.

    "The basic difference between Democrats and Republicans in recent decades is which aspect of government spending they prefer," said Steven Schier , a political scientist at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. "With the Republicans, it's defense. With the Democrats, it's education, environment, health care etc. That's been the major difference between the two parties going back to Reagan."

    The numbers tell the tale.

    In his eight years, Republican Ronald Reagan increased government spending by 69 percent, led by a 92 percent increase in defense spending as he built up the military to confront the Soviet Union . (These numbers aren't adjusted for inflation.)

    With the economy growing by the time he left office in 1989, the size of the government as a share of total economic production had shrunk slightly, from 22.2 percent to 21.2 percent.

    Democrat Bill Clinton increased government spending by 32 percent from 1993 to 2001, brought down largely by the rapid slowdown in defense spending after the Cold War ended. Defense spending grew by just 4 percent during the Clinton years.

    The combination of restrained growth in government and a booming economy meant that government's size as a percentage of the economy dropped from 21.4 percent to 18.5 percent in the Clinton years.

    George W. Bush boosted government spending by 68 percent in his eight-year presidency, spearheaded by a 126 percent increase for defense as he waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq . Bush's spending totals don't include the $700 billion bank bailout added last fall to his final fiscal year, or the $787 billion stimulus package added early this year.

    By the time he left office, Bush's government had grown as a share of the economy from 18.5 percent to 22 percent.

    While he relies on optimistic assumptions about the economy, Obama forecasts that he'll raise spending this year and next, then ratchet it back until it again represents 22 percent of the economy at the end of his first term.

    In recent weeks, Republicans have unleashed a barrage of criticism against Obama as the bogeyman of big government.

    "Who among us would ask our children for a loan so we could spend money we do not have on things we do not need? That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It's irresponsible," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal , delivering the Republican rebuttal to Obama's speech to Congress earlier this month.

    "We simply cannot afford to mortgage our children and grandchildren's future to pay for this big government spending spree," said Rep. John Boehner , R- Ohio , the Republican leader in the House of Representatives . "The era of big government is back, and Democrats want you to pay for it."

    Still, Republicans in Congress today support big government when it's for the Pentagon , such as spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan , or on weapons systems such as the F-22 Raptor fighter jet being developed by Lockheed Martin .

    Rep. Phil Gingrey , R- Ga. , for example, argued recently for buying nearly 200 more of the F-22 Raptor jets, calling them critical to defend against China and Russia . "Moreover," he said, "over 100,000 jobs in our nation are directly or indirectly tied to this program."

    Spending priorities for members of Congress often depend on their districts.

    "Individual members of both parties are interested in expanding the budget in their areas," said Chris Edwards , the director of Tax Policy at the libertarian Cato Institute . "If you're from a farm state, you want to increase farm subsidies for your friends and neighbors. If you're from a big city like Chicago , you want to increase the school lunch program."

    Obama, who's from Chicago and was ranked among the most liberal members of the Senate , has tried to assure Americans that he's against big government for its own sake. He's said he asked for a massive stimulus package for the economy because it was necessary, "not because I believe in bigger government — I don't."

    Yet Obama's budget proposes huge new spending on social welfare programs such as universal health care that he wanted BEFORE the recession. And those programs would survive long after the recession ends.

    Simply put, Obama and other Democrats want a big government that addresses their priorities, not the Republicans' agenda.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs summed it up this way: What the Republicans spent money on was "wasteful spending." What the Democrats want — education, energy conservation, health care — are "investments."

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20090305/pl_mcclatchy/3182084
  2. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't really believe this article. I think it's fair to say that the Republican Party in the last 8 years spent too much but I don't know what it would have looked like if we would not have been in a War the entire time he was in office. I don't know that anybody can really say what it might have been. None the less, it happened in his administration so I think it is fair to say that he did not do a good job of holding down Government spending.

    However, I think we are going to see a real change in the Republican Party in the next few years. Let me just put it this way. Either the Republican Party is going to change or I am going to cease being a Republican. This rediculous Democrat Light the Party has been over the last few years is revolting to me. I am not interested in supporting Democratic Ideas as a Democrat. Why in the Sam Hill would I be interested in supporting them as Republicans?
  3. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

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    You know,I'm very political.
    I cannot deny it.
    WG does deny her leanings and that not honest.
    Do not come here claiming to be neutral or not involved and post stuff that is clearly one sided.
    Stop it.
  4. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    What have I denied? What is one-sided about what I post? I post things that interest me that I hope others might find interesting. Just like everybody else does in this forum. If you don't like what I post, then don't read the threads. That's what I do.

    I don't like labels. But if I had to, I'd say I'm a moderate/Independent as I've voted for candidates of both parties.

    However, I don't feel I have to shout from the rafters that I'm a conservative or liberal to gain approval of anyone in this forum. It's not that important to me. I don't feel hardcore about any position enough to say I'm a republican or democrat. I think both parties are FOS. Is that clear enough?
  5. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that it's hard for a person to completely seperate themselves from their ideals. I post articles from Fox News 98% of the time. I'm clearly Right and everybody knows it. So long as you can be honest about the things you believe, I think that's all you can ask for.
  6. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

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    So what does she believe?
    We all know..so stop it...pick your side and stick to it.
  7. sbark

    sbark Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    and yet........when cuts are proposed or forced.....

    http://wcbstv.com/breakingnewsalerts/recession.budget.protest.2.951551.html
    Taxpayers Furious With Budget Cuts Take Frustration To Streets Of NYC

    Organizers Say 50,000 On Hand For 'Rally For New York'

    .....and yet in the case of NY City, Bloomberg knows the numbers--40,000 out of 8 million "rich" pay 50% of the Cities operating budget..ie taxes. He full well knows a Fed tax hike along with a State City Tax hike will have those 40,000 looking for greener pastures........or ways to limit taxation

    Woopie G is one of those 40,000........here are her thoughts.---at the 3:30 mark
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV5Y...-galt-phenom-spreads/&feature=player_embedded

    so really.....Jim Rogers of Quantum Funds prediction of riots is a no-brainer.

    a "moderate"?......none of those up on Mt.Rushmore
    Liberals.....alot of those memorialized in Red Square......
  8. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I have picked my side and everybody knows what side that is. That doesn't mean that others don't have different ideas. The board has to reflect all sides if it's really going to be fair. It so happens that some are Left and some are right. The problem I have is when my own party claims to be Right but we have half the party with view points as RINOs. WG has never hid the fact that she is probably more left then right. It's no big deal. It's as it should be.
  9. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    Why?

    Life isn't black and white in my world. It may be for you and a bunch of other people, but it's not for me. It's not really my problem that you can't accept that.

    There was a time when I was very much into politics. Then I lost interest. I regained the interest and I like to come to this forum for general knowledge. I don't visit any other political site. I pull articles from yahoo and whereever they lift the articles is wherever they come from. I don't typically know the originating source.
  10. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    Honestly, ABQ, it really does depend on the issue and even then, I still don't lean hard in either direction.

    But to me, it's not that big of a deal.
  11. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I think we all have certain personalities that lend towards one line of thinking or the other. I think I clearly fall into the Conservative side of the house. I don't know how you view yourself. I know how I see you but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. You chose issues and you support them or you oppose them. They may be Left or they may be Right. Usually, mine are Right but I'm sure you know that.

    :)
  12. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

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    I refuse to believe that on principle and the nature of your posts and threads.
    It's ok to pick a side and disagree on the issues and debate over them,but for the love of God do not try for one second to tell me that you are not left or right...it's obvious.
    If you had no side you would not post here in the PZ.
    As for the bold segment...are you getting your info from The Onion?
    WG...you cannot fool me.
  13. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    Yeah. I know how you might see me. You're pretty open about where you stand...and even if I agreed with 100% of your principles, I'd still fall left of you and most other people in this forum. However, I know I'm not a lefty, ugly shill as one might assume.

    Never said I didn't have a side. If there's a topic that I feel strongly enough to comment on, I do. Just that I don't feel strongly enough to argue about it.

    I post articles. Pretty much how I do in the rest of the forum. Some I agree with. Some I don't. Generally, I'm an information gather.
    Nope. I think I accessed their site one time when someone linked there.

    Yahoo or the chronicle is pretty much it for me. And if you're bored enough one day, you can check my post history in this forum and see for yourself.
  14. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, if it's any consolation at all, I don't see you in a bad light. I respect you and I hope you continue to support the things you think are right. Your left of me and that's OK. I don't believe you are unfair. That's really what we should all expect from our politics. Fair is really a big thing for me. Right, Left or in the Middle, you have high marks from me because I believe you to be fair.

    :)
  15. Angus

    Angus Active Member

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    I think you are out of line. She doesn't have to declare her political 'druthers.' Like everyone else, she posts articles that interest her here, just as she doe in the football venues.

    Would you take the same 'show your cards' attitude in the union's effort to expose an employees vote on unionization? I don't think so?

    :)
  16. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

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    In "The Matrix" Neo dodged bullets,and eventually stopped them.
    Here...you are WGNeo...dodge all you want,but you cannot stop the obvious.
  17. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    *modlove* :)

    Seriously, I do try to be fair. It's important to me try to understand people's positions, even if I don't agree with them.

    I'm a techie and for awhile I focused all my energy on learning different things in IT. So I don't know business and government to the level that you guys do. Like I stated earlier, I disengaged myself from general politics until the past few years. So I read, learn, and occasionally participate. I'm alot more knowledgeable as a result of this forum.

    I hate when it gets nasty in here, because it takes away from the informative value I think this place has.
  18. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Shut up and play! Staff Member

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    Whatever that means... *shrug* :laugh2:
  19. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. I have a feeling I'm going to miss a few football seasons as a result.

    :laugh2:
  20. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Well I would certainly NOT want to rely on this forum for any kind of real education on ANY topic. You get the extremes on both sides fighting it out with lot more sound and fury then substance. Not to mention that both sides cherry pick for the strongest support for THEIR side.
    Sadly it is so very hard to find any kind of even halfway unbiased sources anymore.

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