NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

LEARNING FROM THE ELECTION

November 17, 2006

The real story of this year's midterm vote is that the supposedly conservative majority spent as if it was a liberal majority, costing taxpayer billions and doing very little, says Ed Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation.

Consider:

  • Federal spending in fiscal year 2006 increased by 9 percent, the largest increase since 1990.
  • Discretionary federal spending has increased year after year, up more than 40 percent since President Bush took office.
  • In September, the Senate passed three big "emergency" spending measures, including a giveaway to American farmers.
  • Overall, since President Bush took office, lawmakers have larded spending bills with more than 35,000 earmarks, including such wasteful measures as $223 million for the "Bridge to Nowhere" and $50 million for an indoor rainforest in Iowa.

The other side of the spending coin is entitlements, says Feulner:

  • Medicare spending alone is projected to leap $112 billion over the next two years to nearly half a trillion dollars.
  • The Medicare prescription-drug benefit, added in 2003, makes the program even more costly, adding trillions of dollars in costs to the already flailing program.

The American people certainly voted for change, and that change should be to walk the conservative walk, especially on budgetary matters, says Feulner.  After all, today's strong economy comes directly from conservative tax policies.  We can lock in and build on that growth if we keep those policies and couple them with conservative spending policies.

Source: Ed Feulner, "Learning from the election," November 17, 2006.

 

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