Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Putting Responsibility back into Fiscal Responsibility.

Fire of Liberty

Deroy Murdock, National Review Online's contributing editor, Scripps Howard News Service columnist and senior fellow of the Atlas Economic Foundation has an excellent piece over at NRO on how the GOP leadership seems to have forgotten the "small government" part of the GOP plank, what with their love of pork and lack of fiscal restraint when it comes to the various bills they send to President Bush. (If I have one complaint about President Bush is his risk averseness towards the veto pen. He could say no every now and then). Luckily, this wonderful piece reveals that there are a few members like Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) within the GOP who are fully committed to the reduction of government and eliminating this "blank-check" mentality that has run rampant especially with the most recent expenditures on Katrina that are expected to be in the $200 billion ballpark. Just look at what Murdock notes about these fiscally responsible and their devotion to the ideals of small government that were championed by Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan:
The heroes of this tawdry tale are the 110 members of the House Republican Study Committee. Led by chairman Mike Pence (R., Ind.), the RSC on Wednesday unveiled "Operation Offset," an initiative to cut federal spending to cover relief for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (and soon, Rita). Assisted by fiscal watchdogs Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.), Jeb Hensarling (R., Tex.), and other stalwarts, the RSC proposed 122 ideas to save taxpayers $102 billion next year, $369.9 billion through 2010, and $929 billion through 2015. These include delaying the new, universal Medicare prescription-drug benefit (it should be slashed and focused exclusively on low-income seniors who lack drug insurance), ditching highway pork projects, and dumping corporate and farm welfare programs.

"We're anticipating growing enthusiasm of the American people for offsetting these costs and sharpening our pencils...to find these cuts," Pence told a Capitol Hill press conference.

Reaganites like Jeff Flake, Mike Pence, and Tom Coburn should constitute the congressional leadership. Tom DeLay, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R., Ill.), and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R., Tenn.) are spending money at a pace that eclipses Democratic congresses. And, maddeningly, President Bush recoils from his veto pen like a vampire running from garlic. A dash of adult supervision could restrain his party's juvenile delinquency. Alas, Bush naps upstairs while the kids trash the living room.
My advice for the President is to take ahold of the reigns and start vetoing some bills and show Congress that enough is enough. Maybe the best place to start is by calling for the scrapping some 6,371 "earmarks" from the Highway Bill as well as eliminating the $104 billion set aside for NASA to send man back to the moon. Without such action, the GOP could lose the mantle of fiscal responsibility and small government very soon. I'd also like to salute the members of the 110 member House Republican Study Committee and hope their fiscal proposals will reach the light. G-d's speed.

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