GOP = Big Government, Big Spending, Socialists

Quote of the Day      “As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for socialism is its adherents.”      –George Orwell

It can’t be plausibly denied any longer. During the Bush administration it started with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. This new cabinet level department was a massive increase in the size of government. What have we gotten from it? Record breaking duct tape sales, secret government wiretapping and a botched hurricane rescue and recovery effort. Speaking of Katrina…Because of Republican success in stripping the courts of fair minded judges and replacing them with Chamber of Commerce politicians, and because of Republican laissez-faire regulations toward insurance companies, and because of lax Republican enforcement of antitrust laws, and Republican financed propaganda attacking lawyers, all of which occured over most of the last thirty years and accelerated over the last eight, the insurance companies were allowed to pay only a fraction of the cost of recovery. They denied claims where they could find or manufacture an excuse and when flood insurance was available they allocated most of the damages to that program, financed by the government. The insurance cabal had record profits that year, and throughout the first seven Bush years. Since there was no private entity to absorb the losses that come as the natural risk of obtaining those profits, the Republicans passed a huge homeowner bailout program that sent hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to fill the gaps left by State Farm and Allstate. It was socialism. 

And now this. Seven Hundred Billion dollars (insert pinky into side of mouth while reading that number). Maybe more. Eliminate regulatory rules and oversight, install political hacks to the positions where minimal oversight could still be done in order to ensure that it was not, ignore predatory lending schemes and destroy the legal recourse that lawyers were using to keep the mortgage companies reined in, and you end up with a mortgage bubble. Bubbles burst. Conservatives are all for bubbles–that’s what happens in what they inaccurately describe as free markets. Years of prosperity followed by years of panic. From 1800 through 1930, there was a “Panic” about once every 18 years, almost always instigated by real estate speculation and during a time when there was very little government oversight of markets. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it. But these days, Socialists insure the investors when the bubble bursts by using their government power to buy up worthless stock and loans. Big government to the rescue–don’t conservatives hate that? Republicans don’t.

So what has eight years of George Bush has done for us in the realm of the economy? After spending almost two trillion dollars on the Iraq war and financial bailouts, your taxes and mine are going up. It doesn’t matter who is elected. That money has to be paid back, or at the very least the debt must be substantially reduced to restore our economic prosperity. So vote Republican if you have some other reason, just don’t tell me it’s because you are conservative, you want lower taxes and you are saving us from socialism. Because the GOP has firmly established that they are a party of bigger government, runaway spending, and socialism.

Finally, enjoy this humorous take on the same subject from Time Magazine.

USA = France

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About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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35 Responses to GOP = Big Government, Big Spending, Socialists

  1. Jessie Lou says:

    As you know I am undecided and the events of this week do not help my decision making process. I was ready to move to Switzerland until they started trying to split atoms or whatever they were doing a few weeks ago.

  2. Madd Dawg says:

    You act as if Bush were dictator and can do exactly as he wishes at all times. Who controls Congress? Some of the items mentioned above are Executive decisions, but Congress passed the rest of them. In fact, most Dems in Congress want to go much further with government taxation and spending than Bush has.

    It is just classic (Ms. Sumlin would be proud of my use of algebra): Bush wants to spend X and Dems want to spend X+9. The government ends up spending X+4, and the Dems criticize Bush for being a big spender. It is self-delusion at its finest. A classic example in adding Rx coverage to Medicare. Dems had been pushing for this program for many years, and Bush finally agreed to it. Now they criticize him for its high cost. Can no one see this pattern?

    I agree with you 100% that we cannot deregulate and push for free markets and then bailout the ones who benefitted from the system when things go bad. You can’t have it both ways. That is why I said last week that we should not bail the system out and let the chips fall. The companies with the bad debt would fail as they should.

    If Congress doesn’t like the proposed bailout, they can refuse to pass it. Watch, they will add billions to it and pass it and then blame Bush for its excessive cost. Talk about a complete lack of responsibility/accountability. Obama has said that he supports the bailout, so why aren’t you criticizing him?

    McCain supported clamping down on Freddie and Fannie seveal years ago, but the reforms went down in committee on a party line vote with Reps being for it and Dems being against it. Do you think maybe the millions of dollars given to Dems by Freddie and Fannie over the past few years had anything to do with that? Ask Dem. Senator Chris Dodd.

    Dept of Homeland Security–no terrorists attacks in US in 7 years. After 9-11, who would have believed that?

    Botched Katrina cleanup? sure, whatever the government does, it does badly. why are you surprised?

    Setting up a system whereby insurance adjusters hired by insurance companies determine whether damage to a home was caused by flood(government pays) or wind (insurance pays) was just stupid. However, Bush did not create that system.

    Bush has made mistakes, but he is not powerful enough such that we can blame for everything that goes wrong in the world. That is taking the easy way out.

  3. travellinbaen says:

    MD, my post was not about the likes of you or Stone who are classic conservatives. It is to point out that you have no party since Reagan left office. Attacking Democrats is fine. The point of the post is, don’t do it because they are socialists, big government supporters or tax increasers. Republicans have adopted these policies as their own.

    Republican Jim Bunning today used the words “financial socialism” to describe the bailout. Personally, I’m in favor of the bailout because I think the only other choice is much worse. I was also, obviously, in favor of the homeowner payments. But I’d like it a lot better if we could install regulatory policies and judicial review so that direct government involvement was not necessary.

  4. supercynic says:

    TB, you keep beating me to the punch on your post topics. I am writing a post called “Socialized Medicine? Hell No! Socialized Capitalism? You Betcha!”

    MD, I agree with much of what you say, so….I agree. However, Democrats wanted to expand prescription drug coverage BUT allow the federal government to have competitive bidding so that the costs would be lowered tremendously. The Corporatist Party, pardon me, the Republican Party put the kibosh on that once their pharmaceutical buddies told them to. Thus, we have an expensive plan. I blame that on Republicans.

    I’m for the bailout of AIG because the alternative is to potentially enter 1932 all over again. But what I’d like to see is some of that same government benevolence extended to ordinary people. I can’t fathom how a “Christian nation” can allow millions to go without health care, but won’t think twice before jumping in to save a corporation.

    Another interesting tidbit is that under the last Democratic administration the size of the federal government shrank and the budget was balanced.

    Last but not least, shareholders, via shareholder lawsuits, used to be able to hold boards of directors accountable for sloppy management long before the corporation collapsed. Thanks to tort reform, those suits have been eviscerated. Tort reform is not the sole cause of AIG’s failure, but it is a straw on the camel’s back, and it’s a prime example of how the Republican Party has sold its soul and broken free from its mooring. William Buckley already thought the Republican Party was drifting away from its principles. If he were alive today, I wonder if he would recognize it.

    • Bongjea says:

      LOL! She’s got a great sense of humor! (I’m assuming you DIDN’T rlleay tell her she could write teen novels because she was immature, but that line was worth watching the whole thing, even if it had been her only one-liner… which it wasn’t.) I’m definitely going to have to check out her books now. (You did that on purpose, didn’t you, Kristin?)Her explanation of the difference between premise and plot is excellent, too! And it’s encouraging, because I made the same mistake when I started writing.It is kind-of funny how books start. Mine started with the simple thought of how intriguing it would be to have a 22-year-old man sharing responsibilities with his 47-year great-grandfather. Of course, that’s only possible with a time-travel factor, which led me to all sorts of fun ideas. Thanks for sharing that!

  5. Madd Dawg says:

    I agree that their is a struggle for the soul of the Republican Party between the “classic conservative” as TB put it, and whatever you call some of the free-spending/socialist Republicans.

    Sure, Reps do favors for the interest groups that give them money, as do Dems, so I think criticism of money’s negative influence on policy decisions should be aimed at both parties.

  6. SC and MD, thanks for adding excellent points. MD, you are correct and in the event the Dems manage to take over the executive I welcome the fact that you will be holding my feet to the fire to remain consistent in my criticism of hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty and cronyism. I am not so naive nor partisan to have any hope it won’t be present if my side wins.

  7. supercynic says:

    I have a proven track record of blasting both parties. Thus, my creation of the Disgruntled Independent Party, which I’m the sole member of.

    I view Republicans somewhat more scornfully because I used to call myself one. I view Democrats scornfully because they are not immune to partisanship and placing the gaining and/or retention of power over sound governance and wise policy.

  8. Jessie Lou says:

    Supercynic – I’m sure there are many who would join your Disgruntled Independent Party. I am on the verge of disgruntled and have been independent for quite some time.

  9. zeek says:

    I think we as a country have the same connundrum to deal with no matter what party we normally align with. They are all crooks or atleast puppets of big business/special interest. The lobbyists call the shots and have for some time. Votes on issues are for sale, while constituents needs are ignored. I am not strictly a Rep. but do lean toward conservative, and I am displeased with both parties as are most people i think. This is what has led to the level of apathy in this country, people feel that their vote amounts to caca. I like and agree with both MD and SuperC, esp. the Christian Nation/Healthcare quip, that s a prime example of the oxymoron that is our govt.
    We need to start exposing these pols for what they really are thru voting records,lobbyist schmoozing, campaign contributions,etc, and get them the hell outta Wash.,DC, and Jackson. Where do I sign up to join the Disgruntled party?

  10. sweet says:

    I too will carry a Disgruntled Independent Party card. Where do I sign up

  11. SC, I think they call this a grassroots movement.

  12. supercynic says:

    It is with profound gratitude and great humility that I accept your nomination to officially create the Disgruntled Independent Party, or as I fondly call it, the DIP(shit).

  13. Stone says:

    I am with MD. I have been independent for a decade. I will vote for a moderate/conservative democrat or a moderate/liberal republican.

    Social conservatives have hijacked the republican party. Most of those folks could not define conservative if you gave them a dictionary.

    There is a crack forming in the middle that might grow big enough to allow a third party. There needs to be a middle option.

    If the dems would give me something to work with I would consider it. They will not so that is that. McCain is a moderate. It is why the hard right dislike him. Obama is a true lefty.

  14. Jessie Lou says:

    “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you” – Stealers Wheel

    Right up the middle is what we need – moderation is key in everything. The one who has the guts to be that person will likely not want to run for president.

  15. Madd Dawg says:

    The people who would actually put the country first and will not make special deals with interest groups will not raise enough money to be elected, and most good people do not want to have the press and the other side dig through their past and drag them and their families through the mud.

    This is system that we have created for ourselves.

  16. zeek says:

    Ah… what a tangled web we weave…JLou-loved the stealers wheel quote, I was thinking same thing. I agree with MD,the system seems to be beyond repair. But, does that mean all we can do is sit back and problem spot, and not do any problem solving? Are we to wait for full-fledged Depression,the likes we have not seen in 70 yrs.? This time there will be an even worse outbreak of social devolution because our society is now so much more jaded, selfish,and less rooted in Christian values. Is that all we have to look forward to? I gotta go, my kid just got caught typing cuss words on computer at school…….nuff said.

  17. Smilyj says:

    All of these opinions. SOOOO complicated. Its simple . They are both to blame. Anyone can find evidence for pointing blame at either side. All of your sources and such. No matter who you are for, you can find sources to back them up. For one, the Administration doesn’t make economic policy all on its own. But it should work with congress to do so. This administration does not do that. Its attitude has been “My way or the highway.” WOO HOO COWBOY BUSH! However, if you think Mccain likes Bush or his policies, pull my left leg, it plays jingle bells. And as for this bailout. Sad to say its probably necessary but they shouldn’t just jump in, bailing out every homeowner and corporation with troubles. And yes Republicans, there should be regulation on some of these greedy executives. Regulating these types of companies, along with insurance and oil companies doesn’t mean govt is trying to take over all business. It is simply protecting the people who are at the mercy of these money hungry executives. That is was govt is for. There is enough blame to go around. First you dont give people making $30,000 a year a $200,000 mortgage democrats. Second, you don’t give money grubbing fat cats with no regard for common folk free reign to do whatever they want republicans. This is going to be a painful time for many but it is necessary in order to fix the problems. Sometimes you just have to suffer and learn from your mistakes. I know one thing, problems like this are not fixed with one miracle solution. Think “baby steps” and get it right.
    I personally have been going back and forth with this election. I can see bright spots with both candidates. Obama brings optimism not just for Americans but also with the people from other countries. I think our reputation around the world would improve immediately with him. However, I’m not sold on his character and his left views are dangerous. After all “If it looks like a turd and smells like a turd, it’s probably a turd.” I also just do not see him working with the other side, which in my mind, is most important of all.
    Mccain scares me some too. He just seems like he doesn’t get it sometimes. However, I see him as willing to listen to both sides and realizing he doesn’t know everything. I see him as willing to compromise and get things done. I think he listens to what the people want and changes his views according to that.
    This is the most anyone has ever heard SMILY discuss politics and now my brain hurts…..I need a nap.

  18. Madd Dawg says:

    not to be partisan, but check this out:

    Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008

    Name/Party/State/Total
    1. Dodd, Christopher – D-CT $133,900

    2. Kerry, John – D-MA $111,000

    3. Obama, Barack – D-IL $105,849

    4. Clinton, Hillary – D-NY $75,550

    5. Kanjorski, Paul – D-PA $65,500

  19. Not to be partisan, but contrary to McCain’s statements last week, his campaign chairman’s company, yet another lobbyist, was receiving 30,000 bucks a month from Fannie until he went to work full time on McCain’s campaign. Then he got a pay cut to 15,000.

    What party do board members, CEO’s and major stockholders from AIG, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, etc give most to?

    Gimme a break–the biggest money are the rightest wingers. Except for Buffett and Gates.

  20. As for the comments about Obama’s “far left” policies, I’m curious which ones specifically you guys are referring to. Maybe we just have a difference of opinion on what “far left” means. I think pursuing progressive tax policies that will increase taxes to the 1990’s levels for those making over 250K while either leaving intact or reducing everyone under 250K is only slightly left of center, but maybe others think its far left.

    I also think some form of universal health care is moderate, but maybe others don’t. Other than those issues, I’d like to hear on what he is so far left on.

  21. sweet says:

    slashing our military might and I believe he would sit down with OBL or AQ and listen to what they had to say. he could relay their thoughts and ideas to his terrorist half brother in the Dark Continemt

  22. I read his policy statements on his website. In it, he calls for increasing the size and effectiveness of the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force.

    Reagan negotiated with terrorists (see Arms for Hostages–Iran/Contra), so should whoever becomes president next. This does not include Osama, who Obama has advocated an increased effort against in Afghanistan.

    Link to his Defense positions http://www.barackobama.com/issues/defense/

  23. sweet says:

    I saw an interview or one of his ads saying the opposite (politician) and you believing any civilized society should meet with OBL/AQ etc and negoitiate will now cause me to never again comment on politics in this or maybe any other forum….and NEVER compare Ronald Wilson Reagan, Dutch, the Gipper to any of these assholes or I may jump thru this screen all the way to Ridgeland, MS….I outweigh you now

  24. So I guess you are a “Nay” on my big idea?

    Am I still in on yours?

  25. sweet says:

    Give me time to get over your last comment

  26. sweet says:

    Last one. It appears McCain is running scared and wants to postpone the Oxford debate to “focus on the Enconomy” WTF?

  27. Jessie Lou says:

    According to MSN – Obama has turned McCain down on delaying the debate. Of course, MSN also reported that the debate was to take place in Jackson, MS so they may have gotten Obama’s reply wrong as well.

  28. BR says:

    What McCain is going to do is go to Washington
    get the Rep. onboard and pass the bill, and take
    credit for it. In my opinion it is a good political
    move while Obama told the Dem’s call me if
    you need me.

  29. smilyj says:

    Anyone who believes Obama would only raise taxes on those above $250,000 or wouldn’t slash defense……Pull on my right leg, it plays “Back In Black”.

  30. Madd Dawg says:

    good call BR. risky strategy but potentially a home run

  31. Anonymous says:

    Here’s my comment on McCain’s ploy: http://tinyurl.com/3h4x6b.

    Sorry, but it’s easier for me to post a link than to cut and paste or retype the whole thing.

  32. supercynic says:

    That anonymous person above is me (SC) — the fly in the ointment, the resident “liberal” (but conservative in 49 states). I didn’t realize I was logged out when I commented.

  33. Madd Dawg says:

    Check out this 1999 article for the root of the financial crisis that we are in now. The guy in the last paragraph nailed it—–we are now dealing with the cleaning up the unintedned consequences of liberal social policy. Thanks Clinton.
    ___________________________
    Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

    NEW YORK TIMES

    By STEVEN A. HOLMES

    Published: September 30, 1999

    In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

    The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets — including the New York metropolitan region — will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

    Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

    In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates — anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

    ”Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990’s by reducing down payment requirements,” said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chairman and chief executive officer. ”Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.”

    Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

    In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.

    ”From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”
    ______________________

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