April 5, 2006

Lest We Forget

Hatched by Dafydd

In case any of us was in danger of forgetting the real agenda of the Democratic Party, Phil Angelides, one of the two California Democrats a-joust to oust Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in November, has openly called for a staggering, massive state tax increase of between $8 billion and $10 billion to "balance the budget"... and to pay for a huge increase in public spending.

According to Daniel Weintraub's Bee-blog California Insider:

Phil Angelides made news today by directly and strongly attacking his opponent in the Democratic primary, Steve Westly. His main point: Westly stood with Schwarzenegger when Angelides was standing up for “the people.” That’s what will probably lead the newspaper stories tomorrow. But I think he made even more substantive news in a quick question and answer session with reporters afterward. In response to a question, he laid out, for the first time, a plan to raise between $8 billion and $10 billion in taxes to balance the budget and pay for his priorities in expanding it.

For any of you who disliked the wild spending of the Republicans so much that you're toying with the idea of just sitting out this election -- remember Phil Angelides. If you sit out 2006, you will only help the Democrats get more of their folks into Congress. And if you think spending is bad now under the Republicans, you will be in absolute medical shock when you see how fast the liberals can fling money out the window.

Folks who complain that the Republicans "spend more than the Democrats did in 1993-1994" are not really taking the huge growth in the gross domestic product into account. According to Steven Slivinski of the Cato Institute,

Total government spending grew by 33 percent during Bush’s first term. The federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton’s last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush’s first term.

But his own numbers show that despite this increase, total federal expenditure in 2005 remains significantly below that of 1993, as a percent of GDP: 21.4% in 1993 compared to 20.3% in 2005.

There is no question that since 2001, Republicans have proven to be almost as big a batch of overspenders as the Democrats of the early 1990s; but proposals made by current Democrats indicate that this is still far below what we would have had under the Democrats of the 2000s. And if those Democrats -- the ones from today, not from a dozen years ago -- get back in power, you will see the spending and taxation curves bend almost asymptotic, like an F-16 Fighting Falcon taking off on full afterburner.

As Hugh Hewitt is fond of saying, "if you're worried about too much spending, electing more Democrats is not the answer."

Just ask Phil Angelides.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 5, 2006, at the time of 6:06 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Tommy V

You know, I hate that % of GDP comparison. I just don't see how it's relevant. The GDP is supposed grow, and the federal budget is in no way linked to it. So what's the point in comparing the two numbers?

Shouldn't government spending as a $ of revenue be the only number we care about?

We are spending too much. Period. Yes, the Dems will spend more. But they're the Dems, that's what they do. Republicans are supposed to be different.

The above hissed in response by: Tommy V [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 5, 2006 7:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: Binder

I believe the comparisons between the percentage of GDP spent by the government is relevant because it's growing in proportion to the total, even though the total is also increasing. So the government is spending both a larger absolute amount (only to be expected) but also a larger proportion of the total, which isn't so good or expected.

The above hissed in response by: Binder [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 6, 2006 10:17 AM

The following hissed in response by: cdquarles


Such silliness. I don't give a rip about "deficits" when it comes to government spending, since "deficits" are meaningless economically. I care about the total spending which *is* significant economically; and this amount is currently nearly $5 trillion out of $13 trillion of income. I also care about the percentage of *my* income that governments steal from me at gunpoint. Governments do not create wealth, so it is quite useful to compare the fraction of the total wealth stolen by governments. After all, the only source of money governments get to spend comes from privately generated wealth.

The above hissed in response by: cdquarles [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 7, 2006 3:19 AM

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