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March 25, 2006
Where the Money Meets the Mark

Fiscal rhetoric meets electoral reality

Seems that Republicans up for re-election are crossing that imaginary line that separates the "fiscal conservatives" from, well, what they really are.

At a St. Louis fundraiser last June, President Bush lauded Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.), who was then unopposed and building an impressive campaign war chest, for working to tighten Washington’s belt.

“I want to thank Jim Talent for his understanding that you can’t be all things to all people when it comes time to spending the taxpayers’ money,” Bush said. “You have to set priorities, you have to have goals and you must show fiscal discipline.”

Talent, now locked in a tight reelection race against Democratic state Auditor Claire McCaskill, voted last week to circumvent Bush’s austere $873 billion discretionary-spending cap, breaking from the party’s tough recent rhetoric on fiscal restraint and demonstrating the value of popular programs on the campaign trail.

The article goes on to say that most Republicans facing a vote in November voted for the pork earmarks.

“Lawmakers still believe that the road to reelection is paved with government spending,” said Brian Riedl, a federal budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Well, when you have nothing else to offer....

The most stalwart conservatives are furious, not only because the money was added but also because they viewed Specter’s victory celebration as excessive.

“The Republican Party is now principally moderate, if not liberal,” Specter told reporters after the 73-27 roll call, which included a one-vote majority of the 55-member Republican Conference and every Democrat in the chamber.

I know we all agreed not long ago that asking legislators and politicians to pass a quiz full of obscure political references before they could take office would prove nothing, but don't you think they should at least be able to tell a "liberal" from a "conservative"?

Republicans are pretty much always the party responsible for massive budget bloating. They're enormously fond of pork and they never met a defense spending issue they didnt like.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:06 AM