WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING - Toward A Darkening Future

(11/02/2007)

By Bob Weaver

The Bush administration outranks, according to virtually all watch-dog groups, all other administrations since the 1960s with the spending of taxpayer money.

Despite bravado proclaiming small government, the Bush administration has exceeded the spending habits of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society years.

When adjusted for inflation, discretionary spending or budget items that Congress and the president can control (not including entitlements) - spending surged 5.3% annually during Bush's administration.

Ronald Reagan was a tightwad in comparison, with an annual increase of 1.9%.

Discretionary spending, including "pork" projects, went up 48% during Bush's first term, more than twice as Clinton's administration in two full terms at 21%.

Bush never vetoed a single GOP bill, but he is now vetoing the children's health insurance program (CHIPS) supported by Democrats and is becoming an honest-to-god conservative.

Homeland Security's budget soared to about $31 billion last year, with critics saying much of the money is not being spent on securing the borders from terrorism.

While Bush supporters claim the costs are related to the war and a recession when he first took office, critics say the spending far exceeds the rationale.

The $295 billion 2005 Highway Bill included thousands of earmarks that did not require any kind of review.

Most of the contractor funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan war has been given on no bid contracts based on political favoritism.

The 2003 Medicare Drug Program, a Bush initiative made while he touted reform of the soon "out of money" Medicare program, has ten year costs estimated at $700 billion.

While seniors are grateful for the benefit, the program allowed drug companies to collect their charges at their current usurious rates, no discount - a major boom for the drug outfits.

Cutting a deal to save taxpayers money is interfering with capitalism, too much like moving toward national health care.

The 2002 Farm Bill caused agricultural spending to double the 1990 levels.

After cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans and leading the largest spending binge in at least 40 years, Bush appears to be mending his ways.

Beyond the spending, there are still issues of budget deficit, the trade deficit, the exorbitant National Debt, and operating the government on borrowed money from China and other countries.

Meanwhile, the government and American corporations, based on models developed by economists, have placed the entire future of America in the globalized market.

Pitting American workers in the free market has thrust them against less than a dollar an hour workers in China and other countries, those workers rarely having benefits and producing products with few environmental or safety controls.

Historians, on the other hand, have sadly recorded the outcomes of the ways and means of American economists.

While Republicans and Democrats square-off in a blame game, America is surely suffering at the hands of government, sliding toward a darkening future.


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