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July 28, 2011

Coburn: Government Has Doubled In Size In Just Ten Years
Politifact: Government Has Doubled In Size In Just Ten Years

It has. From $1.85 trillion in 2001 to 3.82 trillion this year.

There a raft of points to make about this.

First -- I think Monty said this in an email, talking about how easy it should be to simply lay down a "cut 15% from all agency's budgets, immediately" marker -- "all of the parts of government grew by fiat; they can all be cut by fiat as well."

Second, and this is a point that I am tearing my hair out over Republicans not employing: Republicans have a big problem with Clinton. I get that. I was on the impeachment train myself. I had the pompoms for removal from office.

But our hatred of Clinton is preventing us from using him for our own purposes.

To wit: How about asking the public, "In 1998, under President Clinton, with a 3.8% unemployment rate and GDP growth of 4.5% per year, did you feel the government was too cruel and too vicious to the poor and sick?

The Democrats are always claiming that are cuts are vicious.


In 1998 we spent -- I'm not sure, exactly, but eyeballing it from the figures I see, let's say it spent $1.6 trillion.

If the government was not hard-heartedly cruel and callous spending $1.6 trillion in 1998 -- if, by all liberal accounts, Clinton was doing okay by the poor -- then what exactly is the problem with spending that amount now?

Oh, okay, in inflation. Add in a very generous $0.8 trillion to account for that and that adds up to $2.4 trillion.

I we were spending $2.4 trillion now we wouldn't have a deficit. (The deficit is $1.4 trillion and change.)

Rather than playing the Democrats' favored game of using the current baseline as a, um, well as a baseline, why do we not rhetorically pick a year in which no liberal can claim the country was run by a callous skinflint and use that as a baseline?

Finally, this is obvious, but it's frustrating. The liberals and the media (but I repeat myself) scream that Republicans are being intransigent and won't raise the debt ceiling and all that.

Of course that's not true. We have agreed to raise the debt ceiling. So long as there are significant cuts to the federal budget equal to or more than whatever we raise it.

The media seems to view this as an impossibility, something so absurd that they will not even credit in their reports as having been offered at all.

It's not impossible. The country did rather well spending about $1.6 trillion per year (let's call it $2.4 trillion, being very generous as far as an inflation factor, in today's dollars).

Why is it impossible to get to that level again? What makes this an unserious proposal, apart from liberals' insistence that it is so?

Liberals like to claim they're being reasonable. And yet it is completely off the table, I guess, that we simply return to the spending level this country had when we enjoyed blockbuster growth.

It is also off the table, as far as they're concerned, that Obama give up the completely unnecessary 30% of government growth he's presided over since he became president. Doubly unnecessary because the previous president grew government hugely before him.

These are apparently proposals not even worthy of discussion.

Why not? Liberals play their favorite trick here: When they don't have a good answer to a question, they rule the question of out bounds and "unhinged."

Why? Because we said so.

Everyone says so, you know.

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posted by Ace at 12:08 PM

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