The Free-Spending GOP:

Today's Novak column chronicles the dissension within Republican ranks over the ever-swelling federal budget. According to Novak, the House leadership has been putting pressure on junior members critical of Congress' free-spending ways because House majority leader Tom Delay "does not like his rank-and-file members depicting a free-spending Republican Party." If that's really how Delay feels, then perhaps he should do something to control the Republican Party's free-spending ways. It's that simple.

This Delay op-ed from the Washington Times is somewhat promising, but it was only a few days ago that Delay claimed there was no fat in the federal budget to cut in order to fund post-Katrina spending. Instapundit has more here and here.

The party that controls the entire government can't seem to resist increasing the size and power of the government that they control?

I'm shocked, shocked.

Split governments are the only hope for libertarians.
9.26.2005 6:08pm
SimonD (www):
There comes a point in any government's life when it has to stop casting blame at its predecessors. And yet, last year I watched a Congressman stand on the floor of the House and blame an engorged deficit on the Democrats. As an excercise in raw bald-faced cheek, it takes some beating. The reality is that the GOP has controlled the House for over a decade, the Presidency for five years and the Senate for the lion's share of the intervening time. If there is fat in the federal budget, the Republican party put it there, or its persistence is a result of our own failure to remove it. We have become as corrupt as the party we kicked out a decade ago, and if there was ever any doubt, that bloated porcine monstrosity masquerading as a highways bill removed it.

I hate to say it, but the GOP either needs to spend a term in the minority in the House, or we need to jettison our leadership. Come back, Newt, all is forgiven.
9.26.2005 6:19pm
=0= (mail):
I hate to say it, but the GOP either needs to spend a term in the minority in the House, or we need to jettison our leadership.

Amen. I'm all for swapping parties every term - round robin would be fine, so long as there's gridlock, at least until they start making cross party deals.
9.26.2005 7:10pm
Brett Bellmore (mail):
I don't think that at this point, a term in the minority would do squat. Ever since the budget standoff failed a decade ago, the Republican party's office holders, if not the base, have been convinced that fiscal discipline might be the right thing to do, but that it's also political suicide. They view demands to control spending as an existential threat, and respond accordingly.

If they lose that majority, they're liable to conclude that they just weren't profligate enough.
9.26.2005 7:45pm
The Delay op-ed isn't so much promising as it is psychotic. If Mr. Delay isn't a category 5 smoke-blower, he is too deluded to hold a responsible position.
9.26.2005 7:47pm
cfw (mail):
Heh. Category 5 smoke blower - apt description!
9.26.2005 8:27pm
SimonD (www):
I don't think that at this point, a term in the minority would do squat.

Well, look - I'm in favor of mandatory 12-consecutive-year term limits on the Congress, but you've got to start somewhere. ;)
9.26.2005 9:08pm
Alternating which party is in entire control of the government is unlikely to help (as noted by others, it would probably just motivate a spending competition).

Again, I think the only hope is split governments.
9.27.2005 10:30am
My favorite passage from Delay is this, "Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita has introduced a valuable forum to promote the triumph of our ideas and solutions for government over the crumbling and outdated policies of the Democrat-controlled Congresses of past decades."

Apparently, "of past decades" excludes the latest decade, in which his party controlled the House the entire time and the Senate for all but a year and a half. I love politicians.
9.27.2005 11:13am