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Under the President’s budget, non-defense discretionary spending would sink to an historic low of 2.8% of GDP by 2013. That compares with 3.7% of GDP in 2007. The President’s budget is thus not a realistic standard for comparison.br> The Concord Coalition is thus a fraud as a fiscal watchdog or deficit hawk group. What it wants is higher taxes to finance Big Government.
You won’t find any statements or studies or reports on the Concord Coalition website listing desirable spending cuts. All you will see is whining about the deficits and tax cuts. The organization does not object to government spending per se of any magnitude.
The Concord Coalition gave no support or credit to the Bush Administration when it proposed a much more modest increase for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) than either the Democrat controlled House or Senate. As long as the Democrats “paid for” their proposed doubling or tripling of spending on the program in some way, the Concord Coalition was completely OK with that. Indeed, the Coalition actually complained about the President’s inadequate 25% increase in SCHIP funding, saying “it is not sufficient to maintain coverage for current enrollees” and “800,000 people would lose health insurance without increased funding.” In the end, the President’s supposedly inadequate proposal was what was adopted for the following year.
Similarly, there was no objection from the Concord Coalition to the $600 billion farm bill boondoggle, again because it was supposedly “paid for.” Indeed, there is nothing in anything the Concord Coalition has written that indicates it would have any objection to a communist system with government taking and spending 100% of GDP, as long as the budget is balanced.
TWO WEEKS AGO, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, produced a comprehensive reform proposal for the nation’s entitlement programs that balanced both Federal taxes and Federal spending at 18.5% of GDP, the modern historical average for the Federal tax burden. The proposal was fully scored as producing this result by the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Tax Committee, the Social Security Administration, and the Health Care Financing Administration. What an exciting accomplishment.
But apparently balancing the Federal budget at 18.5% of GDP, and eliminating all future deficits, was not good enough for the supposedly deficit hawk Concord Coalition, as not a peep of support or praise for the effort has been heard from the organization. No tax increases, so I guess the effort was no good.
Conservatives and free market advocates have to recognize that the Concord Coalition does not believe in limited government. It is not working for smaller government in any way. That is fine, the organization does not have to be part of the conservative movement if it doesn’t want to be. But the rest of us need to recognize that they are not, and not be fooled into working with them or giving them unwarranted credibility when that may not advance our own goals.
Moreover, we need to recognize that their economic analysis is simplistic and wrongheaded. The budget deficit is not the most significant factor for long term economic growth. What matters most is incentives for savings, investment, entrepreneurship, risk taking, and work. That means lower taxes, not higher. The effect of any deficit we are likely to experience is minor compared to these factors.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online