Expanding Government

Discussion in 'CF Archive Bin' started by alaskaguy, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Following are excerpts from a William Voegeli editorial published by The Wall Street Journal November 6, 2007:

    Inflation-adjusted federal spending increased in every year but two over the past 26 years.

    Military spending is a minor factor in the overall growth of government. It was 23.2% of federal spending and 5.2% of gross domestic product in 1981. Those percentages peaked in 1987 at 28.1% and 6.1%, respectively. Defense spending fell steadily thereafter, and was just over 16% of the federal budget and 3% of GDP from 1999 through 2001. Since September 11, defense spending has climbed to 20% of the federal budget and 4% of GDP. Despite the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both figures are lower than they were at any point during Jimmy Carter's presidency.

    Looking forward, government spending as a percentage of GDP is about to rise dramatically. The oldest baby boomers, born in 1946, will be eligible for Social Security's early retirement benefits in 2008 when they turn 62, and become Medicare beneficiaries when they turn 65 in 2011. These two programs, along with Medicaid, accounted for 41% of federal spending in 2006, even before the baby boom cohort had started collecting benefits. All three will increase relentlessly due to the longevity and sheer numbers of Americans born between 1946 and 1964. The columnist Bruce Bartlett estimates that the magnitude of this growth will be "on the order of 10% of the gross domestic product over the next generation even if no new government programs are enacted or current ones expanded." This is the Swedenization of America on autopilot.

    The two goals proclaimed in Reagan's inaugural address define one mission, indivisible; conservatism will never "curb the size and influence of the federal establishment" without insisting, once again, on "the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people." The real question for conservatives, then, is not whether to reject the New Deal but which New Deal to reject--the one on the ground, the thick roster of activist government programs; or the one in the air, the rhetoric and ideas justifying the perpetual existence and expansion of those programs.

    Link:
    OpinionJournal - Federation
     
  2. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
    Staff Member

    Interesting that military spending is 20% of the federal budget. There is a billboard on Fleur Dr. in Des Moines that is trying to convince me it's over 50%.

    This kind of stuff is really going to set Ron Paul's campaign on fire. If anyone really cares, that is.
     
  3. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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  4. Incyte

    Incyte Well-Known Member

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    Giuliani somehow got Pat Robertson's endorsement. Very surprising given Rudy is quite a liberal with regard to social issues.

    However Pat Robertson doesn't have the influence he used to have as many evangelical Christians have come to the conclusion that he is crazy.
     
  5. jdoggivjc

    jdoggivjc Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2006
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    Beat me to the statement - 20 years ago a Pat Robertson endorsement might have meant something positive to us evangelical Christians as far as a candidate is concerned - today it means we avoid that candidate like the plague.

    As far as candidates that now interest me, I might just have to include McCain in that discussion now. I'm still mostly unsure about him, but since he picked up Sam Brownback's endorsement (as he was one of three candidates I really liked, to include Huckabee and Hunter), at least I'm willing to put him in the discussion now.
     
  6. iceclone

    iceclone Member

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    How to Manipulate Statistics 101

    Here's the formula: You take out all of the "trust fund" spending such as social security and medicare, so that you are only left with "true" federal expenditure. You then add things like veteran’s benefits and a certain fraction of interest payments to the military spending, and military spending is now over 50% of the federal budget! Easy as pie (chart).

    Disclaimer: Both sides of the political spectrum use HMS 101 to equal extent
     
  7. Kyle

    Kyle Well-Known Member

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    Do those defense spending numbers include appropriations bills not in the presidential budget? Those account for a very large portion of current defense spending, as it seems Congress passes about two multi-billion dollar supplemental appropriations bills for the military every year.
     
  8. Johnny Tremain

    May 31, 2007
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    #8 Johnny Tremain, Nov 8, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
    The Voegeli editorial makes a one paragraph statement that military spending is a minor factor overall growth of government and supports that statement with pecentages and dollar numbers which are not documented. He goes on to makes a one paragraph statement saying that the growth in government is "human resources", that is, the OMB categories of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, et. al. He supports that contention with percentages and and dollar numbers, also undocumented. (Yet another gratutious comparison of how little we spend on what is really important, that is, military spending, versus gross overspending on welfare state issues.)

    The other 34 paragraphs of his editorial deals with Reaganism idealogue and opining what conservatives must try to do to diminish liberal influence in their unending battle against big government. The focus of his message is the last two paragraph, which are as follows:

    "It makes sense for conservatives to attack liberalism where it is weakest, rather than where it is strongest. Liberals sell the welfare state one brick at a time, deflecting inquiries about the size and cost of the palace they’re building. Citizens are encouraged to regard the government as a rich uncle, who needs constant hectoring to become ever more generous. Conservatives need to make the macro-question the central one, and to insist that limited government is inseparable from self-government. To govern is to choose. To deliberate about the legitimate and desirable extent of the welfare state presupposes that we the people should choose the size and nature of government programs, rather than have them be chosen for us by entitlements misconstrued as inviolable rights.

    No political strategy can guarantee success. Under no foreseeable set of circumstances will liberals fear giving voters their spiel: We want the government to give things to you and do things for you. Conservatives can only reply that single-entry bookkeeping doesn’t work; every benefit the government confers will correspond to a burden it has to impose. A government that respects citizens as adults will level with them about the benefits and the costs. A conservatism that labors to reverse liberalism’s displacement of Americans’ rights as citizens with their “rights” as welfare recipients may not achieve victory, but it will at least deserve it."

    The WSJ editorial pages continues to love anything Reagan. Go figure.
     
  9. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    #9 alaskaguy, Nov 9, 2007
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2007
    Johnny, I found your post to be ambigous. Were you concerned that the editorial did not properly footnote/document or were you disputing the assertion that military spending is a minor factor in the growth of government?

    My gratitude is extended for disclosing the content of the final two paragraphs. I concur that the final two paragraphs were the focus of the message.

    Finally what is your purpose in disclosing your observation that the "WSJ loves anything Reagan"? Is it that important to establish your perception of the tilt of the WSJ editorial page? Can't you critique the merits of the editorial as a stand alone document?
     
  10. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
    Staff Member

    Just curious, but what do you find wrong with that statement? It seems spot-on to me.
     
  11. Johnny Tremain

    May 31, 2007
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    I am not sure what I said is ambigous but I shall try to say what needs to be said with a little more precision.

    Before I do that, one understanding first. The subject matter at hand is not worth anymore effort than we have already invested in it.

    The reason, precisely, is that Voegeli's editorial is just another in a series of Reagan idealogue gibberish that the WSJ publishes from time to time for a select audience who wish to reframe the Reagan glory days as courses of action to the serious problems our nation faces today. Problems which bear the heavy hand of today's Republican Party ideaologues. And the course of action of choice is: blaming and bashing the "liberal establishment". Nothing more, nothing less.

    As for the question, does the Voegeli's editorial prove the truth of any matter asserted? Of course, not.

    As for my comment that the WSJ continues to love anything Reagan, take it at face value. More than just occasionally, you pick up on WSJ opinions and bring them to this board as some kind of a treatise to debate, so you know better that I what their bias is.
     
  12. Johnny Tremain

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    If I were asked to give you a salient example of right-wing bullsh*t, those two paragraph would be it. Maybe even the whole editorial.

    I am not surprised you think they are "spot-on".
     
  13. alaskaguy

    alaskaguy Well-Known Member

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    Johnny, your response convinces me that you were analyzing something other than the Vogelgili editorial. Vogelgili's course of action was not to blame and bash the liberal establishment. Instead Vogelgili directed his blame at post Reagan conservatives.

    The last four paragraphs disclosed a strategy to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment. Because you have a different political slant you typify those paragraphs or the entire editorial as a salient example of "right wing bull *hit?"
     
  14. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
    Staff Member

    Wow, I am completely shocked that you avoided a question again. You are quite adept at that. Attack opinions, attack sources, offer nothing of your own. Shocking.
     

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