This is a short follow-up to yesterday’s article; in case you haven’t heard, there was an eleventh-hour budget passed last night which prevented a government shutdown. This “compromise” budget is $38.5 billion less than what the Democrats were pushing for, $78.5 billion less than Mr. Obama’s proposal, and is being hailed as a great Republican victory, a victory for fiscal conservativism. In reality, the budget increases the deficit for the fiscal year of 2011 to $1.58 trillion ($1,580 billion) from 2010’s $1.29 trillion ($1,290 billion); this can’t be termed “fiscal conservativism” by any stretch of the imagination.1 The Republicans should be utterly ashamed by their failure instead of strutting around like they have won a great victory. While the $1.58 trillion deficit is certainly less than Mr. Obama’s $1.65 trillion proposal, that is only a comparison of awful to horrendous. A Republican Representative from Michigan, Justin Amash, was one of the only 28 Republicans who voted against the budget (214 Republicans voted in favor) and made the following statement on his congressional website:2
The House of Representatives would like to move toward a $0 deficit. We agreed to compromise at a deficit of $1.58 trillion [instead of 1.65 trillion] — giving the other side 96 percent of what they want.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said:3
[This budget] does not set us on a path to fixing the spending and debt problems our country is facing. As I have said before, there is not much of a difference between a $1.5 trillion deficit and a $1.6 trillion deficit – both will lead us to a debt crisis that we may not recover from.
Republicans love big government; at best, they just want to grow it slightly more slowly than Democrats.