In what I am sure is shocking news to all of you, despite talking a lot about fiscal conservatism, Bush is actually a big spender:
The numbers are clear, credible and conclusive, added David Keating, the executive director of the Club for Growth, a budget-watchdog group.
“He’s a big spender,” Keating said. “No question about it.”
Take almost any yardstick and Bush generally exceeds the spending of his predecessors.
When adjusted for inflation, discretionary spending — or budget items that Congress and the president can control, including defense and domestic programs, but not entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare — shot up at an average annual rate of 5.3 percent during Bush’s first six years, Slivinski calculates.
Of course, this is not really news. In fact, there has been more than just anecdotal evidence about this for quite some time:
Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research group, points to education spending. Adjusted for inflation, it’s up 18 percent annually since 2001, thanks largely to Bush’s No Child Left Behind act.
The 2002 farm bill, he said, caused agriculture spending to double its 1990s levels.
Then there was the 2003 Medicare prescription drug benefit — the biggest single expansion in the program’s history — whose 10-year costs are estimated at more than $700 billion.
And the 2005 highway bill, which included thousands of “earmarks,” or special local projects stuck into the legislation by individual lawmakers without review, cost $295 billion.
The really funny thing about all this is that this “news” is coming the week after the dead-end Bush right just FREAKED THE FUCK OUT about the relatively minor spending increase (by comparison) that went along with the S-Chip expansion. It is almost like the people who still support Bush are as dumb as he is. I guess they just decided they had to draw the line somewhere, and after a couple of trillion dollars pissed away without much comment from the right, that line was Graeme Frost.
That is what we in the business call “smart politics.” Or general idiocy. You decide.