Saturday, December 10, 2022

Republicans Abandon Any Pretense of Fiscal Responsibility. Republicans sign up to "bring home the bacon."

by Rod Williams, Dec. 10, 2022- I still prefer Republican policy positions over those of Democrats, but it is not because Republicans have stood firm with principled positions. In fact, it is hard to know what Republicans actually believe any longer.  Republicans have moved away from a party committed to conservative principles and toward populist positions of simple anti-elitism and anti-intellectualism. They have become the party of those, "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore."

Anger and resentment have replaced reason. To a large extent, the Republican Party of Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson is hardly recognizable as the same party as that of Ronald Reagan and Williams F. Buckley, Jr.  The Republican Party only looks good compared to the Democrat Party which has moved further left and embraced Critical Race Theory,  "equity" over equality, and a gender ideology that pretends gender is fluid and nothing but a social construct. 

One area in which Republicans have blurred what it means to be a Republican is by the abandonment of fiscal responsibility. The following article from the Wall Street Journal examines this development. 

The GOP Spending Poseurs

House Republicans prove themselves unserious by refusing to ban earmarks.

By Kimberley A. Strassel, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 1, 2022 - ... Leader Kevin McCarthy in September unveiled to great fanfare the party’s Commitment to America, which vowed that Republicans would “curb wasteful government spending” that feeds inflation and the national debt. Hundreds of Republican candidates stormed their districts, waving Commitment pocket cards and pronouncing on fiscal discipline and oversight.

Then came Wednesday’s first test of whether this was all hot air, and it turns out a fleet of dirigibles wouldn’t have held the gas. California Rep. Tom McClintock moved to repeal the recent party rule allowing earmarks. The caucus routed his motion, voting it down 158-52. Commitment to America? More like Commitment to Spoils.

The vote came despite a vigorous campaign by independent conservative groups. “Earmarks are one of the most corrupt, inequitable, and wasteful practices in the history of Congress,” read a letter signed by representatives of 15 groups, including Heritage Action, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Americans for Tax Reform and Citizens Against Government Waste. The groups told lawmakers it was “your first opportunity to demonstrate to taxpayers that the election of a Republican majority in the House will be accompanied by a serious effort to restore and maintain fiscal responsibility.” So much for that.

The GOP swore off earmarks in 2011, when it stood for something other than investigations. But when a Democratic Congress in 2021 announced intentions to bring them back, GOP trough-feeders rushed to sign up. At least in March 2021, the vote was closer: 102-84. But that was before members got hooked on the earmark drug. Some 120 Republicans partook in the subsequent earmark free-for-all, snorting up nearly $5 billion for their states and districts. And the addicts aren’t interested in rehab. ... 

... 41 House Republicans on Thursday voted with all Democrats to give the Justice Department $50 million to hand out in grants to create re-entry programs for former prisoners. ... grant making has become the “third-biggest expenditure of the federal government, behind only Social Security and national defense”... $1 million for the St. Louis Symphony (Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt) or $650,000 for feral swine management (Arkansas Sen. John Boozman) or $4.2 million for a sheep experiment station (Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson). (read it all)

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