Thus spake President Richard M. Nixon, defending his foolish economic policies, just before events completely discredited Keynesian economic theory. Today, with a Republican president and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, it's clear there is absolutely no interest in creating (we can't really say "restoring") any fiscal discipline. None. Not in Congress, and certainly not in the Whitehouse.Peggy Noonan
lays out the case in OpinionJournal, but this has been clear for quite awhile. President Bush has not vetoed a single spending bill, even as new records for taxes and spending continue to be set and with both growing well above the rate of inflation. He doesn't even threaten to do so, or make any case for controlling spending.
How about Congressional leadership on the issue? Mark Tapscott
finds nothing there either:
"Why? Consider House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s stunning assertion the day before Bush spoke from New Orleans that 11 years of GOP control of Congress has 'pared [government] down pretty good.'
Here’s what he said when a puzzled reporter asked if Delay really was suggesting there is no fat to cut in the federal budget to help pay Katrina recovery costs: 'My answer to those that want to offset the spending is sure, bring me the offsets, I'll be glad to do it. But nobody has been able to come up with any yet.'
If that's the best Delay can do, then obviously sending him into retirement is a great place to start if we are to get spending under control. In another recent column Tapscott asked if it's time for conservatives to dump the GOP
"What I am saying is this: The rebirth of limited government will remain a conservative pipedream as long as the people in charge of the GOP refuse to sober up.
Put another way, it's time for an intervention. That's when the family and closest friends and professional associates of an addict confront the abuser with an ultimatum -- get sober and get help now -- or else. The presence of the spouse with suitcases packed and the boss with pink slip in-hand helps the abuser realize the consequences of not getting help will be immediate and unpleasant. More than a few lives and careers have been saved over the years by such interventions.
But sometimes interventions work and sometimes they don't. There is no guarantee that the GOP leaders will get the message, either. Quite frankly, I am not optimistic because I've seen the Stan Evans Law in operation for too long. Evans is the retired conservative activist/journalist who years ago said: 'When one of our people gets elected, sooner or later he [or she] stops being one of our people.'"
We're inclined to think he's right, but what's the alternative? Vote for Democrats hoping for fiscal discipline? That makes about as much sense as hiring pyromanics into the fire department. True, they are good at finding new fires quickly, but that's just because they already knew where to look.
So that really leaves only voting for small government conservatives in primaries, when they can be found, and third parties. We've voted for third party candidates numerous times in the past, and we're well-prepared to do so again. Both the Libertarian and Constitution parties are possibilities. We've never found the argument that such votes were "wasted" persuasive in the least. By contrast, a vote cast for someone you don't like just because he's not quite so bad as another guy is really a wasted vote. Keep voting for the "lesser of evils" and you get: evil.
Who knows, the way the Democrat Party is determined to drive itself off a cliff with a self-indulgent dive into pure, unadulterated moonbattery, perhaps one of the third parties of today will be the second party of tomorrow. It's been a long time since something like that happened. The Whig Party
fell apart in 1860, replaced by the Republicans. Will the anti-war movement splinter the Democrats the way slavery did the Whigs? Or perhaps the Republican Party will split on the issue of small government.
Whatever happens, we need at least one of the major parties to give more than lip service to the concept of limited government, and we're not getting that now.