Thursday, January 6, 2011

Can We Trust the New Republicans?

The New Republican House of Representatives was sworn in yesterday. Republican pundits made a big deal about how this represents a big change for the country and that the people have had enough of "big government." But will Republicans actually fulfill their campaign promises? Can we trust them to shrink the size of government like they say they will?

There is some reason for hope. Much of the support for this change came from the Tea Party, who agitated for less spending and lower taxes. Republicans used their support for the elections, and used the language of that political group. Politicians have a history of going back on their promises, and even going in the opposite direction, but this at least seems like a step in the right direction and maybe even a hopeful turn of events.

In reality, however, attacking waste and corruption in government spending will not be enough. Taken together, social security, medicare, and medicaid take up nearly 40% of the federal budget. If you do nothing about these programs then you will only make a small dent in the federal budget. Republicans have stayed far away from talking about these programs because they realize that they are sacred cows. But this is the only way to effect real change in spending levels. Sadly enough, it does not seem as though this political generation is up to the task.

Furthermore, there is the history of Republican spending under Bush.

See there between 2000 and 2007? I do not see a decrease in spending in that time period, even though Republicans had majorities in the federal government. If a Republican federal government could not do it, then how can a coalition government do it, and why should we trust them to do it?

One day it will happen, we will finally see decreases in federal spending, but I just do not foresee that day as being in the near future.

No comments:

Post a Comment