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Posts Tagged ‘Harry Reid’

In the past 10 years, the burden of federal spending has skyrocketed, more than doubling from$1.86 trillion in 2001 to an estimated $3.82 this year.

President Bush deserves a lot of the blame thanks to the no-bureaucrat-left-behind bill that bloated the Department of Education, the corrupt farm bills, the pork-filled transportation bills, the new prescription drug entitlement, and bailouts for banks and auto companies.

Obama then came to office promising hope and change, but he simply grabbed the baton and continued the spending spree, adding more TARP bailouts, and then giving us the boondoggles of a fake stimulus and government-run healthcare.

Taxpayers finally said enough is enough last November and there’s a new Congress with marching orders to stop Washington’s spending orgy.

But Barack Obama and Harry Reid are saying no. They want us to believe that the House spending cuts are too severe.

What does this mean? Are Republicans trying to reduce spending to $2.98 trillion, which is where it was in 2008? That would be a spending cut of nearly $1 trillion and music to my ears. Or are they being even more aggressive, perhaps trying to cut spending to about $2.5 trillion, about halfway between the 2001 and 2008 totals? That would be a spending cut of almost $1.5 trillion, which would be a fantasy for a libertarian wonk like me.

If these were the options being considered, we could understand President Obama and Senator Reid vigorously resisting  spending cuts of that magnitude.

But that’s not what’s happening. Republicans in the House are not trying to reduce spending by a big amount. They’re not even trying to reduce the budget by $500 billion. Heck, they’re not even trying to lower this year’s spending levels by $100 billion.

Instead, the House GOP has put forward a very modest proposal to trim spending by $61 billion – and that tiny bit of nibbling around the edges of the welfare state has Barack Obama and Harry Reid acting as if the safety net is being ripped to shreds.

This video from my colleagues at the Cato Institute puts $61 billion of cuts in context – and indirectly shows that President Obama and Senator Reid have no credibility on fiscal policy.

I can’t resist making one final observation. The burden of government spending has jumped by about $2 trillion in the past 10 years. Does anybody think our economy is stronger as a result? More stable? More competitive? More vigorous? More entrepreneurial?

The answer to all these questions is a resounding no. So if the 10-year Bush-Obama experiment of bigger government has failed, isn’t it time we try a different approach?

To conclude, here’s one of my videos, looking at just a small fraction of the evidence in favor of smaller government.

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Taxpayer-funded cowboy poetry? Is this an example of when parody becomes reality? Or is it the other way around, when reality becomes parody?

All I know for sure is that it is nauseating that the corrupt crowd in Washington thinks it is not only proper, but also praiseworthy, to steal money from the rest of the nation to fund vote-buying gimmicks in their home states.

Here’s a blurb from Politico about Harry Reid and his boondoggle.

In the middle of his tirade against House Republicans’ “mean-spirited” budget bill on the Senate floor Tuesday, the Senate Majority Leader lamented that the GOP’s proposed budget cuts would eliminate the annual “cowboy poetry festival” in his home state of Nevada. …“The mean-spirited bill, H.R. 1 … eliminates the National Endowment of the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts,” said Reid. “These programs create jobs. The National Endowment of the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy poetry festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.”

I must have an out-dated version of the Constitution, because my copy doesn’t say that cowboy poetry is one of the enumerated powers of the federal government.

I suppose a caveat is appropriate. I realize that I’m not the most sophisticated guy in the world. I wouldn’t recognize good poetry from bad poetry. I’d rather chew on broken glass than attend an opera. My idea of a good time is playing softball with a bunch of guys, talking sports and swapping jokes.

So I’m not attacking poetry in general or cowboy poetry in particular. But I am objecting to federal subsidies for such events. I don’t ask other people to subsidize my softball. All I ask in exchange is that they don’t coerce me into subsidizing their hobbies.

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Actually, if you want good election predictions, don’t listen to me. I’m just an amateur without any special expertise. If you want real knowledge, I encourage you to visit these three sites:

Realclearpolitics.com, which has good summaries of polling data and predictions based on that data.

Intrade.com, which is a political betting market site, so you are seeing estimates based on people defending their views with cold, hard cash.

Fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com, which is Nate Silver’s site and seems thoroughly researched.

But since several of you have emailed for my thoughts, I predict the number of House Republicans will jump from 178 to 242, for a gain of 64.

In the Senate, the GOP delegation will climb from 41 to 48 (I hope all of you can figure out that’s a gain of seven seats). Since there’s a lot of attention being paid to the Nevada race, I will specifically predict that Harry Reid goes down.

By the way, for any of you in southern in Florida, I’ll be at the Allen West victory party tonight. Stop by and say hello.

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