Oh, Where Have You Been Senator Gregg, Senator Gregg, Oh, Where Have You Been?
by Laurence M. Vance
by Laurence M. Vance
Senator Judd Gregg, a three-term Republican from New Hampshire, and the senior Republican on the Budget Committee, was interviewed recently by the incredibly biased NPR reporter Melissa Block about President Obama's new $3.5 trillion budget. He did an excellent job of exposing the budget for what it really is: profligate congressional spending run amok, sustained by tax increases:
Here is Senator Gregg:
But the budget itself has some real serious problems, in my opinion, because it is a massive expansion in spending and a massive expansion in taxes. And the real problem is that in the out years, not only does it increase spending in taxes, but it passes on to our children a government that can't be afforded, and that's a big problem.
I don't think he was elected to bankrupt the country. Basically if you run up deficits at this level — where you're doubling the national debt in five years and tripling it in 10 years and then doing virtually nothing to bring it down in the out years — and you don't address the fundamental underlying problems that's driving the cost of spending, which are the cost of the major entitlement programs as a result of the retirement of the baby boom generation, you're going to pass on to our children a government that simply can't be afforded.
The burden of taxation will be so extraordinarily high to maintain the cost of the retired generation that they simply won't be able to have a high quality of life.
Seventy percent of the jobs in America today are created by small-business people. So basically what you're putting in place is a tax burden which is going to make it very difficult for those folks who are the entrepreneurs and job creators in our society to be successful.
Oh, where have you been for the past eight years, Senator Gregg, Senator Gregg, oh, where have you been?
Where was Senator Gregg when Bush sought an increase in the federal budget every year? Where was Senator Gregg when Bush ran a deficit every year? Where was Senator Gregg when Bush ran the first trillion-dollar deficit? Where was Senator Gregg when Bush doubled the national debt?
Gregg and his fellow Republicans were supporting Bush every step of the way.
The New American magazine's Freedom Index for the 110th Congress scores Senator Gregg a pathetic 53 on 40 key votes in the Senate. The higher the number on this index, the stronger a congressman's "adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements." Congressman Ron Paul consistently scores a perfect 100 on the House version of the index.
Senator Gregg voted last year for the $186.5 billion Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2642), $161.8 billion of which went toward additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Senator Gregg voted last year for the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (H.R. 3221) to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Senator Gregg voted last year for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424), otherwise known as the $700 billion bailout bill.
But now, in 2009, Senator Gregg is suddenly concerned about Obama's proposed "massive expansion in spending."
Like the vast majority of his Republican colleagues, Judd Gregg is a partisan hypocrite without an ounce of allegiance to the Constitution or the principles of liberty and limited government.
And this is why the Republicans are worse than the Democrats. The Democrats openly talk of increasing the size and scope of government — no matter which party is in power; the Republicans talk about fiscal conservatism when the Democrats are in power (while sometimes supporting their fiscal liberalism anyway), and then increase the size and scope of government when they are in power. They are political charlatans and con artists, almost to a man.
How quickly conservatives forget that it was Republicans in 2003 who gave us the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (PL 108-173). Initially projected to cost about $400 billion (which is still $400 billion too much), it is now projected to cost over a trillion dollars. Well, I have not forgotten it, and don't intend to either. I intend to hold the Republicans accountable for their endless lies and sellouts.
But didn't all the Republicans in the House and all but three (Specter, Collins, & Snowe) Republicans in the Senate vote against Obama's stimulus plan? Yes, but there are really only two problems the Republicans had with Obama's stimulus plan: it wasn't a Republican plan, and it was more than they wanted to spend. Opposing the plan on principle because it is a government-spending plan and a wealth-redistribution scheme is the furthest thing from the minds of most House and Senate Republicans. Is there any doubt that if McCain had won the election that he would have his own stimulus bill right now and that many Republicans would be supporting it while many Democrats would be against it?
Some Republicans, like Joe Scarborough, are now speaking out about "our own Republican sins for spending an unconscionable amount of money over the past decade." He opines in a recent column:
It was, after all, a Republican administration that nationalized the banking and mortgage industry with October's $700 billion Wall Street bailout.
George W. Bush's White House also bailed out the U.S. auto industry.
Defense spending also grew at explosive rates, as the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned of benefited greatly from two wars and a White House that refused to make tough choices at home or abroad.
Under Bush, a $150 billion surplus in 2001 turned into a $1 trillion deficit in 2008. The national debt doubled. Conservatives were pushed aside in the name of Republicanism.
Because I have written many harsh things about Republicans and conservatives, I get e-mails all the time that rail against me for being a Democrat or a liberal. I am neither. Can the Democratic Party be trusted to increase liberty and decrease government? No, certainly not. I therefore have the same contempt for both major parties. Do I have any sympathy for liberalism? Absolutely none. I am opposed to any form of liberalism, socialism, egalitarianism, environmentalism, racial preference, social engineering, interventionism, and wealth redistribution. But I am also opposed to trillion-dollar military budgets, infringements of civil liberties, violations of the Constitution, the war on drugs, crony capitalism, an imperial presidency, open-ended wars, and an overseas empire of troops and bases.
The solution to the current economic crisis is not putting the right political party in charge of the government. The solution is not enacting a particular ideological agenda. The solution to the problem is more liberty and less government. Isn't it always?
March 11, 2009
Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from Pensacola, FL. He is the author of Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State. His newest book is The Revolution that Wasn't. Visit his website.
Copyright © 2009 Laurence Vance