A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Friday, September 23, 2005

Whatever happened to fiscal conservatism?

National Review Online: Curing the Current Conservative Doldrums---

President Bush is in a perilous political state. His slipping poll numbers are partly a result of softening support from his Republican base. If Bush doesn't take decisive steps to try to offset the billions of new Katrina spending, the forecast will be: Danger, more softening ahead. Never in the Bush years has conservative discontent been so high, nor so justified. With a few false moves in the crucial weeks ahead, Bush could see even more of the life-blood squeezed from his presidency.

We all know the litany that got us to this point: Bush has never vetoed a congressional spending bill, even as Congress has agreed to fund an estimated 14,000 pork projects, up from around 1,000 in 1996; he has presided over a federal spending increase of 33 percent since 2001, with 55 percent of the increase in the last two years unrelated to defense, according to Brian Reidl of the Heritage Foundation; and he created a new entitlement, signing a $500 billion prescription-drug bill.

Conservatives could just manage to swallow all this, when there was the prospect of Social Security reform changing the politics of the nation's most important entitlement. Now, the Katrina aftermath appears to have driven a stake through the already doubtful Social Security reform, while slathering on ever more federal spending in response to the disaster. The turn of events casts all that has come before in an even worse light, and makes Bush fiscal mismanagement looks increasingly intolerable to conservatives.
I don't like President Bush (or Congress) very much at the moment and I have been a solid Bush supporter since 9/11. The only other time I've felt this much anger toward him was when he decided to allow federal funding of stem cell research in August 2001.

What does he think? He really hasn't done anything major for Conservatives. I agree with the War on Terror, but the President does not do a good enough job selling it. He just lets the Libs and Anti-war activists run the show.

Now he's spending so much money on a natural disaster that I don't even recognize which party he belongs to. It is not the federal government's job to rebuild New Orleans or provide a living to the refugees.

Whatever happened to good old American individualism, when people took responsibility for themselves and their families?

Whatever happened to fiscal conservatism?