George W. Bush

Ben Swann chats with Paul Ryan about his big government conservatism

Paul Ryan

Despite not being their ideal candidate, Republicans became excited once Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate. Ryan’s two budgets — the “Roadmap for America’s Future” and the “Path to Prosperity” — became rallying points for conservative activists and many in the Tea Party movement. It should be noted that FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth supported other alternatives because they didn’t feel that Ryan’s proposals didn’t balance the budget quickly enough.

While he has been able to cast himself as a budget cutter and small government advocate, Ryan’s voting record tells a different story. Back in May, I noted some of Ryan’s big government leanings, including his votes for Medicare Part D, TARP, and the auto bailout.

Earlier this month, Ben Swann, a Cininnati-based report, sat down with Ryan and went over some of the votes over his career in Congress, putting the GOP vice presidential nominee on the defensive for supporting big government.

On Medicare Part D, Ryan explains that the program came under cost projections, but Swann notes that the program has added over $9 trillion in unfunded liabilities to an already broken program.

Swann also shows video of the debate on TARP, where Ryan explains, “[T]his bill offends my principles, but I’m gonna vote for this bill in order to preserve my principles.” That’s no different than what George W. Bush said after TARP was passed, that he “abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”

Welfare spending rises significantly under Obama

Barack Obama

It goes without saying that George W. Bush was a big spender. In fact, he was the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson, who implemented the so-called “Great Society,” creating new entitlements — Medicare and Medicaid. Some Republicans argue that Bush’s spending spree was mostly for defense after 9/11, but doesn’t tell the whole story.

Bush increased spending on a variety of non-defense programs, raising non-defense discretionary spending by 5.4% during his eight years in office. In a study on welfare spending published earlier this year by the Cato Institute, Michael Tanner noted, “Federal welfare spending increased significantly under the Bush administration.” Democrats, playing the part of budget hawks, were complaining about budget deficits and the national debt. Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, said that Bush’s spending binge was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.”

But while the the fiscal irresponsibility of Bush was outrageous, as Tanner explained, President Obama “has thrown money at anti-poverty programs at an unprecedented rate.” How quickly has welfare spending grown? According to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, welfare spending under President Obama has grown by 33%, a truly astounding number:

Americans skeptical of government promiting “traditional values”

Traditional Values

Politicians on both side of the aisle like to use government to coerce people into living moral lives, often aligning with some view of “traditional values.” President George W. Bush was guilty of this. More recently, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum have carried that message forward in the Republican Party. But a new poll from CNN shows that Americans are increasingly skeptical of using government to promote these so-called “traditional values”:

The biggest: The number of Americans who say that the government should promote traditional values has fallen to an all-time low, a finding that might benefit many Democrats,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to the survey, just four in 10 registered voters believe the government should promote traditional values, down from 53% in 2010 and 57% in 2008.

“Between 1993, when CNN began asking that question, and last year, a majority of respondents have always said that the government should promote traditional values. Now, for the first time, more than half say the government should not favor any particular set of values,” adds Holland.

More Americans are also not happy with the government intervention in their daily lives. According to the CNN poll, “Six in 10 say the government is doing too much that should be left to individuals and businesses. That finding could favor Republicans.”

Democrats no longer fighting for civil liberties

Democratic Party Platform Civil Liberties

There has been an image going around on new media sites recently noting that the language supporting civil liberties in the 2008 Democratic Party platform — including specific lines calling for revisiting the PATRIOT Act, reining in executive power, and the surveillance state — is now missing from the current platform. Christina Lopes and Tom Knighton have already noted civil liberties have fallen to the side, and the frustration from advocates of the issue toward President Barack Obama.

In yesterday’s Cato Daily Podcast, Caleb Brown chatted with Julian Sanchez about the omission of civil liberties from the Democratic Party’s platform, President Obama’s record on the issue, and the silence from many of those who previous called for curtailing government overreach on civil liberties:

National debt crosses $16 trillion threshold

National Debt Clock

As Democrats kicked off their convention yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina, the United States crossed an ominous threshold as the national debt clock crossed the $16 trillion mark — nearly $51,000 per citizen. While we should understand that the national debt and unfunded liabilities were already unsustainable over the long term, President Barack Obama has done little to rein them in.

During his term in office, President Obama has overseen four consecutive years of $1+ trillion budget deficits, adding some $5.375 trillion dollars to the national debt since during that time. This is the same man who slammed the deficits of George W. Bush on the campaign trail in 2008. Obama, then a U.S. Senator from Illinois, told supporters, “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents — [Bush] added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child.” Obama said that this was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.”

The GOP is Actively Moving to the Left

Earlier this month, I said that one of the reasons you may want to vote for Mitt Romney is if you think the GOP is too conservative. My premise in that statement is that the party will move the direction of its leading politicians until they are rejected. Based on some new data, we see that already taking place, without Romney even being elected.

The data is part of a poll that compares responses of registered voters in April and then again four months later in August. The telling data is with voters who consider themselves “conservative” or “very conservative.” Here is the chart used on that WP article I linked to above:

Notice the blue sections in the image. In April, roughly one-fourth of conservative and very conservative voters said Romney was too liberal. In August, those numbers decreased, and there was an increase in the number of voters who say Romney’s views are “about right.”

Of course, this doesn’t hit specific issues. It’s a question about a candidate. If respondents were asked specifically about issues, we probably wouldn’t see such a quick change. Two important things that would impact this data have happened since April:

1. Romney is the last man standing.

Where Has The Anti-War Movement Gone?

The anti-war movement has all but disappeared. You would think that with both major party conventions coming up, they would take the opportunity to demonstrate, especially with the media being concentrated at the conventions. However, there are no plans to demonstrate and in fact you don’t hear a whole lot about the war in Afghanistan anymore. Short of putting Cindy Sheehan’s face on a milk carton, we really need to find where the anti-war movement has gone because 2,000 American soldiers have now died in Afghanistan. If war was bad when George W. Bush was president, why isn’t it bad now that Barack Obama is in the Oval Office?

Not only has Obama expanded the war in Afghanistan and kept Bush’s Iraq withdrawal timeline; he even started a new war in Libya. Plus, the Obama administration appears to heading down the road to war with both Syria and Iran. Obviously, the wars have not stopped. American soldiers have not stopped dying overseas and drone strikes certainly haven’t stopped all over the world. Why has the press and so-called anti-war activists ignored the ongoing wars?

The only unfortunate conclusion to make is that the anti-war movement were either at best pawns of the Democratic Party or they really don’t have a problem with war in general, but only with wars launched by Republican presidents. This isn’t just a phenomenon confined to the left, because the right only generally believe in limited government when a Democrat is president. All this means is that when a Republican is elected president and decides to go to war, it will be easy to dismiss war opponents as partisan hacks. It will be just a way to silence debate and opposition by the War Party.

Enough With The Political Dynasties

Chelsea Clinton

Our country declared its independence from a monarch and an aristocracy. We were founded on the promise that any American, of any background could theoretically be elected President or any other political office. Instead we’re slowing starting the see the rise of the House of Clinton political dynasty with Chelsea Clinton now thinking about getting into politics.

Despite her famed political lineage, Chelsea Clinton has adamantly refused stepping into the political arena. Now, however, Clinton’s answer on her political ambitions is less definitive.

Asked if she would consider jumping into politics, Clinton – daughter of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton – is now saying, “I don’t know.”

“Before my mom’s campaign I would have said no. Not because it was something I had thought a lot about but because people have been asking me that my whole life,” Clinton, speaking of her mother’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid, said in an interview for the September issue of Vogue.

“And now I don’t know… . I mean, I have voted in every election that I have been qualified to vote in since I turned eighteen,” Clinton continued.

Americans for Prosperity launches new ad knocking Obama on deficits

Americans for Prosperity

The budget deficit for the current fiscal year is expected to hit $1 trillion any day now and the increasing national debt exponentially in the last four years. And while some apologists for Obama insist that he has been fiscally responsible, the claim simply doesn’t hold water.

Back in 2008, then-Sen. Obama lashed out at the budget busting deficits of President Bush, calling it “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” During his first campaign, Obama said that he would deliver a “net-spending cut” during his first term in office. But a new ad from Americans for Prosperity should remind voters of these broken promises and the fiscal turmoil that President Obama only exacerbated:

Elton John Loves Conservatives but Hates Their Kids

Elton John

Does Elton John Hate the kids of conservatives? If he praises the actions of “compassionate conservatives” then I think he does.

‘We’ve seen George W. Bush and conservative American politicians pledge tens of billions to save the lives of Africans with HIV. Think of all the love. Think of where we’d be without it, nowhere, that’s where. We’d be nowhere  at all,’ John said at the International AIDS conference in Washington on Monday.”

I like Elton John. I want him and everyone else to be able to marry whomever they want. I want him to be free to write more great hits like “Sad Songs”  and “Tiny Dancer.”  I’m a fan. But what I am not a fan of is his collectivist Ideas of praising “compassionate conservatives” for using the force of government to steal property from some, in order to give it to others. More government always leads to less freedom, for Elton John, for individuals in America and around the world.

Elton exclaims “think of all the love” that the actions of the conservative politicians produced, but is taxation and redistribution an act of love?

When property is stolen from “taxpayers” in the form of taxes, they suffer and so do their children. Having children at all for the productive class is an economic decision and taxation and inflation are key drivers in that decision. In effect when government steals money from a mother and father they are being deprived by force of their resources, which they can spend on their offspring which in effective limits how many children they have. This reduces the “Love” an individual can show to themselves, their living children and the children they choose not to have due to economic reasons.


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