T Nation

Bush supporters, you call yourselves CONSERVATIVE?


I have some pretty conservative views, mainly that I am in favor of small government. This makes me question the self-proclaimed "good guys" who think that our fearless (draft-dodging, deserter in a time of war) leader can do no wrong, and that he represents their so-called conservative perspectives. I hate to break it to you, but Bush is NOT a conservative! All he is is a fundamentalist, which is probably enough for most of you (who are inclined to believe the propaganda machine like good, obedient little sheep), but BIG government is NOT a conservative value. I guess I am the only TRUE conservative in here! Here is an article from ABC news:

Size Matters
The Era of Big Government...Is Back?

By Jake Tapper

W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 22? In the midst of debate about the additional $87 billion President Bush has requested for operations in Iraq, last week his administration announced the creation of more government jobs at the Commerce Department.

As promised, on a Labor Day swing through bellwether state Ohio, Bush announced the creation of a commerce assistant secretary for manufacturing. Secretary of Commerce Don Evans also said that his department would also create an office of industry analysis as well as an unfair trade practices team.

For many fiscal conservatives, the moves were disappointing, but not surprising. Under Bush, they say, the era of big government is back.

As a presidential candidate, then-Gov. Bush had strong words on the subject of big government. "Big government is not the answer," he said in his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican convention on August 13, 2000. "I trust people; I don't trust the federal government," he said in an October 17, 2000, debate with then-Vice President Al Gore.

But President Bush's record indicates quite a different view. On the size of government, a recent study by New York University and the Brookings Institution shows there are 1 million more actual government workers today than in 1999. That brings the total to more than 12 million ? the most since the Cold War ended.

"If Bush managed the Texas Rangers like he's managing government, you'd just see this whole group of people on the field including lots and lots of coaches and deputy coaches and under-deputy coaches and assistant deputy coaches ? but you wouldn't be winning very many baseball games," said Paul C. Light, who authored the NYU/Brookings report.

Cost of Government Also Up

President Clinton declared the "era of big government is over," but the report notes that "some of the post-1999 growth occurred in the final year of the Clinton administration."

However, the report states, "most of the 1.1 million new on- and off-budget jobs appear to reflect increased spending since the Bush administration entered office. Many of these jobs have been added at agencies involved in the war on terrorism, but many have also been added at domestic agencies such as Health and Human Services."

And it's not just the size ? the cost of government is also up. Discretionary spending on transportation and other non-military items increased by 21 percent under Bush. The taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste also says pork barrel spending is up 48 percent since 2001.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected deficits totaling $1.5 trillion over the decade. While the conservative Heritage Foundation recently blamed a poorly performing economy, the president's tax cuts, and increases in defense spending as having factored into these unprecedented deficits, it also concluded that "one cannot overlook the largest domestic spending spree since the Great Society."

Actions Don?t Match Words

While Bush constantly calls upon Congress to exhibit fiscal restraint, political observers say he has yet to truly push the issue.

At around this time in his presidency, Ronald Reagan had vetoed 22 spending bills. Bush has vetoed none.

Some growth in the government work force is in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But the fastest growth is in jobs, not spending related to defense and terrorism.

Fiscal conservatives are disappointed in the president.

"President Bush's actions haven't matched his words," says Chris Edwards, director of fiscal policy for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. "In fact, he has asked for very large spending increases in areas like education and farm subsidies, transportation and veterans' affairs, and of course defense."

?Like a Man With a Week to Live?

"In general, Bush has been spending money like a man with a week to live," wrote National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg in a recent column. "The GOP-led Congress deserves some blame, too. But even when they overspend above his overspending, Bush refuses to use his veto power."

Conservative writer Andrew Sullivan recently wrote that, "if we don't cut spending drastically and reform entitlements, we're going to be crushed by taxation in the not-so-distant future."

Soon, Bush is expected to sign prescription drug legislation ? the biggest government health care program since the 1960s. After that will come a major federal highway bill.


I have to admit that some of the moves that Bush is making are very troubling to me. Initially I supported Bush, not because I really liked him, but just because I hated Clinton and Gore. Really sucks when you vote for someone because they are the lesser of two evils... God help us...


Lets also just see if protectionism is on its way back. September 11th opened the door to it, and if the economy gets worse, you can always use protectionism as a way to keep things under control, which goes hand in hand with big government, regardless of the leader. At least, thats what one financial analyst where I work thinks is a possible scenario.


Forrester, I agree with you on the lesser of two evils. I couldn't bring myself to vote for Gore either, but I did not vote for Bush. I didn't like Bush, but I didn't mind him either. He did a little bait-and-switch on us, posing as a moderate repub when in actuality he was simply a puppet for the Moral Majority and a butt boy for big business (particularly the ones who financially supported him in the last election). I was wrong to think that one term could do this much damage to the US economy. Lucky for me I am smart enough to stay at the top of the food chain with my small business, but over 31 million Americans are living below the poverty level right now because of this "conservative" leader.

Not to mention that my bro-in-law and first cousin are still in Iraq right now, in harms way in a conflict that was half-baked at best. If one of them dies I will never forgive this administration. They aren't defending democracy. They are just hanging out in the desert being targets for a bunch of rats who have nothing to lose.


I hate to break it to you, but it takes years to enter a recession and years to come out of it. Senior Bush led us out of the recession Clinton took credit for and Clinton led us into the one Bush is in right now. Can Bush recover us from this recession? I don't know and it is to early to tell. The business cycle does not follow the political cycle.


I hate to break it to you, but it takes years to enter a recession and years to come out of it. Senior Bush led us out of the recession Clinton took credit for and Clinton led us into the one Bush is in right now. Can Bush recover us from this recession? I don't know and it is to early to tell. The business cycle does not follow the political cycle.


I have to agree with tootallpaul, I don't hold Bush responsible for the economy. There are to many variables at work and the economy's response time to any changes put in place by government administration isn't that fast. What I am mostly concerned with is things like the patriot act, government overspending, making monkey faces on national television... LOL, sorry couldn't help myself on that last one. Anyway, some of the stuff he is doing is pretty wacked, I hope we have some good presidential candidates for this upcoming election.


Bush Sr. was in office for four years, and Clinton for eight. So unless you guys are using some sort of Bizarro World math, both these statments cannot be true:

Bush Senior led us out of the recession that Clinton later took credit for...


Clinton was not responsible for the good economy, and he caused the recession we are in now.

Bush said "I trust people; I don't trust the federal government"

How come when I say the same thing here, guys like US=GG and the Mage say I "hate America"? I guess it is unpatriotic if you don't play stupid and pretend that America can never do anything wrong.

Anyway, it's good to hear that some jobs are being created...


Just to be clear, I am referring to the US government when I say "I guess it is unpatriotic if you don't play stupid and pretend that America can never do anything wrong."



You say your conservative, okay fine. Your actions, however, would say otherwise when you speak of Wesley Clark in all his glory. Clark is about as opposite as conservative as you can get. You say you didn't like Clinton, yet you would vote for someone who is supported by Clinton. Do you honestly think that Clark will usher in smaller government? Clark doesn't have a conservative or moderate bone in his body. Government would continue to grow under Clark and to think otherwise would be foolish.

You can continue to complain about the Iraq war, but your not going to chnage my mind. We are their for the right reasons. Coalition troops have been their less than a year. They've defeated Saddam, and are rebuilding the country. Ten years from now we will still have troops in Iraq. It's all to stabilize the region, which may take a while.

And Roy, please cut the "Bush is the reason for the bad economy" crap. Presidents can't directly change the economy. You should know that.

I also don't understand why this continually has to brought up. It's nauseating and I'm sick of hearing the usual suspects whine about it. We are in Iraq, be proud of what the military has done and that the president can see past next week and wants to stabilize the middle east, not only for the U.S and her allies, but for Israel too.

This is time in the U.S when we need to rally together, not question every goddamn thing the president does. Al-Quada, the Taliban, and other terrorist nations don't give a ratts ass if your a democrat or republican. They'll kill your family and kill you no matter if your gay or straight, black or white. This constant fighting within the country is not going to help matters. If anything,it'll bring the country down before any terrorist group will. Be thankful President Bush is standing up to the radical Islamists from hell. God knows Gore wouldn't have. 9-11 would have happened and we still be sitting hear twittling our thumbs.

That's all. If anyone agrees, cool. If they don't, that's even better. Either way I don't care. I'm bored with this topic. Roy, lets move on.



Bush is not conservative? I have said this before, which pissed off at least one person. I personally am hoping that his spending spree will end when the economy really is on an upswing. I could see a president trying to spend his way into a good economy. Personally I doubt it.

People have tried to say he has cut various programs, but actually he has cut absolutely nothing. No program has been cut, but many have been created or expanded, and this is the most foolish thing Bush is doing. Tax cuts don't always mean a drop in government revenue, and sometimes an increase in revenue, but tax cuts and spending cuts go hand in hand. This could easily become a drag on the economy if spending keeps its current pace of growth, but the results won't be seen for a few years. Tax increases cause a much quicker drag then spending does.

The biggest problem with ballooning budgets is that the government doesn't have the ability to control spending. They are not given any reason to. This government keeps following the foolish idea that problems can be spent away, and this just is not true.

Years ago I was surprised to find out that one of the big causes of business failure is having too much money available. The companies that cannot finance out their problems have to come up with creative ways to overcome them. It is this creativity that is at the root of business success.


Lumpy: When have I ever said you "Hate America"? Find one reference where I said this. You won't be able to because it didn't happen. Now you will find that I have said you are "full of hate", but this was in reference to your hate of certain politicians and political groups, but I never stated that you hate America. Your favorite website is another matter. I have stated that it is a hate America website.

This is another attempt to put words into my mouth. You have this unique ability to take any statement and twist it's meaning beyond recognition.

Once again is the prime example of when I stated that your favorite little website was "Anti-American", which you spun into "Un-American", completely forgetting that my statement was not a comment about what I thought of the website, but a statement of the political position of the website.

You still have not addressed this, and keep avoiding any response. I am fairly certain you sent them an email asking them how to respond, and they haven't gotten back to you yet, leaving you in a mental limbo.


I think you can support a politician, but not fully agree with every thing the politician stands for or does and this is how I can say I am a Bush supporter but against big government.

One of my favorite quotes is by Thomas Jefferson, "the government that governs least governs best."

Bush has not decreased the size of the government, but keep in mind, congress is also responsible for reducing spending, so there is plenty of blame to go around.

Unfortunately, the way our system is set up, politicians keep their jobs by "doing something" to solve whatever issue is in the spotlight. Too often, "doing something" means more laws and more spending. If government could be held to the same standards as private industry we would not have any problems with budget deficits.

I feel the tax cut issue was sand bagged to begin with. Both republicans and democrats were in favor of stimulating the economy through fiscal stimulation. There was no argument about that. Unemployment was creeping up, the stock market was trending down, and both parties felt that stimulation was necessary. The disagreement came in how to administer the tax cuts. I really believe that the democrats played some dirty politics at this point. Once the Bush Administration proposed their tax cut plan, democrats cried foul and said the tax cuts were for the rich and then dropped the double sand bag and complained about cutting taxes at a time of war.

The tax cut issue had been beaten to death, but I'll sum it up briefly, nobody wanted to admit that you can't give a tax cut to someone who doesn't pay taxes. Of course the tax cuts were going to be for the rich, they are the ones paying the most taxes. As The Mage once said in another post, you can't give someone a $1000 tax cut if they only pay $500 in taxes, that's called welfare.

The take home point is that both parties felt the economy was going down, both agreed that fiscal stimulation was necessary. There was disagreement in the most effective way to stimulate the economy, but the sandbagging by the democrats crying foul about tax cuts at a time of war was just dirty politics, because both agreed tax cuts were needed!

I encourage people to think of the economy as an equation with many variables. Each of these variables will affect the economy in different ways, some take a long time and some are much shorter. I tossed this equation out on another thread a while back, but I'll post it again, think about the GDP of our country as this basic equation (there are many more variables the influence each of these variables), GDP = Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + (Exports - Imports). Raising or lowering taxes will affect each of these variables in a different way. A tax cut will affect each of these things, but the affect on the economy may be immediate for some variables, but take years to develop for other variables because of the difference in their coefficients. Lumpy, this is why something can happen under Bush Sr. and not show up until years later. It's not as simple as 2+2=4 years. A tax cut may cause an immediate increase in consumption, but then what affect does consumption have on interest rates, what affect do interest rates have on employment, what affects does employment have on...you get the idea.

I enjoy political discussions and I enjoy economics, but I get frustrated when economics is twisted for political agendas.

Find a candidate that you support, don't follow blindly, but realize you will never agree 100% with a candidate unless you have no core values of your own.


Nice post anderson.

Yeah that is the whole deal on tax cuts, pretty hard to cut something that isn't there in the first place.

Although they did do some of that with the increase in the child tax credit. Cant say I blame them, that is by far one of the most popular tax changes we've had in years.