Where's the Financial Responsibility?

Republicans have been patting themselves on the back for a measure that cuts spending by 35-50 billion over the next 5 years. That sounds like a lot of money until you consider that Bush's tax cuts result in the loss of 70 billion in revenue through 2010 and that the government spends 2.5 trillion a year. It's not all Bush's fault; the House and Senate have avoided dealing with these issues directly themselves (with exceptions).

Let's look at some facts. Unfunded liabilities (e.g. Social Security, Medicare) totaled 20.4 trillion in 2000. In 2004 they reached 43.3 trillion, largely due to tax cuts and Congress's increased spending (the number of pork projects in spending bills is up by the thousands under Bush. If I remember correctly, the Transportation Bill recently passed by Republicans had 13,000+ pork projects, including the infamous Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska). Spending has increased twice as much under Bush than it did under Clinton. Even if you remove defense and homeland security spending, it is still up 22%.

Our gross national debt is over 8 trillion. Who holds that debt? A considerable portion comes from Japan and China. I don't know about you, but that makes me uncomfortable.

We need some serious restrictions on spending in Congress. Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D., is trying to reinstall Pay-Go (started under the first Bush), a program that caps discretionary spending and requires new spending to be offset with cuts elsewhere. We also need fiscally responsible policy/spending, like Jay Inslee's, D-WA, New Apollo Energy Bill.

This is not to say that a lot of pork and spending isn't done by Democrats. And not all Republicans are spending maniacs. But I do see many more Democrats trying to find solutions to these problems. Or, at the very least Republicans need to start standing up to the Administration and their irresponsible policies (which is starting to happen more frequently).

People need to start making noise about these issues before our country finds itself in a very difficult financial position.

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