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OTHER ITA SITES:
Real Conservative Don�t Drink Lattes, Or Do They?
If Barry Goldwater were alive today to witness the new transformation of the GOP, he would grow a beard and become a bead vendor on Constitution Avenue in Washington.
While in Indianapolis recently this author noted numerous well dressed business people standing in line waiting to buy coffee. Mostly latte or some contortion thereof was ordered. This city is known for its GOP leaning conservative nature.
Many were rapidly moving in the line talking conservative politics while I was ordered to stand off to the side like an oddball waiting 20 minutes for my street brand coffee.
But one thing was obviously clear. The GOP of the past is not the new GOP. Or better said, the Party has been taken over by a new breed.
Instead they have taken on noble projects such as waging war on the middle class, to pursuing international adventures of questionable value, to ignoring obvious Chinese trade atrocities in our domestic markets, to name but a few.
This begs a few questions.
Since when do Republicans support �budget deficits�? Since when do Republicans support decreases in military spending? Since when do Republicans support Chinese economic invasion of our country? Since when do Republicans advocate runaway growth in government spending? Since when do Republicans support tax increases by another name? Since when does such a great Party constantly resort to the use of terror and scare tactics in order to divert electoral attention away from its own failings?
You would think the GOP is full of traditional liberals sucking down lattes in the morning at the local Starbucks, eating California salad plates for lunch, and ordering up quiche dinners.
Na, they are just good ole fashion George Bush neocons trying to redress the Republican Party to their own liking.
Let�s hear some of their wholesale excuses spoon fed the American public.
Budget deficit don�t matter. Despite their age old proclamation that deficits don�t cause interest rates to increase, well that�s water over the dam if the present is any example. Bush and his economic team make Bill Clinton and his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin look like miracle workers spinning budget surpluses accompanied with historically low interest rates.
Military spending as a percent of GDP, and adjusted for inflation, is near all time lows at 3.3 percent of GDP according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington. Absolute dollars spent on the military is not much more than the waning years of the Reagan Administration, and once it is discounted for inflation, below the Reagan era of 6.1 percent of GDP.
This is why the concept of �overwhelming� force can not be applied to Iraq or any potential enemy for that matter and the real reason we are having trouble containing the Middle East situation and unable to respond to the North Korean threat, at least on a conventional military basis.
The Bush family, and their agents, are all are military �cutters�, not builders. Closing military bases, retiring medium range bombers, cutting back the number of active Army divisions, and mothballing our battleship fleet have been their forte. Way back in the Nixon and Ford years, Senior Bush and Rumsfeld supported defense cutbacks.
They argue that historic military spending is down because the Cold War is over. We only hope someone tells that to the billion or so Communist Chinese who chant, �Beat America�. They don�t know the Cold War has ended.
Not that raising military spending to Cold War levels is a cure all for our present international difficulties. But the America people need to be told the truth, and not boondoggled on this issue, and let them make those defense choices through the electoral process.
And how come federal government spending is increasing at a much faster rate under this Republican Administration than it did under Clinton Clan?
The conservative think tank, Cato Institute, sums it up nicely. �President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson.� Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years. His 2006 budget doesn�t cut enough spending to change his place in history, either.
The Institute went on to say, �the federal budget as a share of the economy grew from 18.5 percent of GDP on Clinton�s last day in office to 20.3 percent by the end of Bush�s first term.�
Now to pseudo tax increases or whatever you want to label them.
When those low rate adjustable rate mortgages begin to convert in this era of much higher interest rates, personal disposable incomes as a percent of total personal incomes are going to significantly decrease and severely damage the economy. Bush�s tax cut is going to look like a nickel in the Sunday collection plate in comparison. And he will exit office in 2009 leaving his party exposed to the electoral backlash that will ensue because of this economic debacle.
And let�s not forget that every time the electorate begins to focus on the real economic issues plaguing this economy, an elevated terror alert is issued. Why?
The neocons are trying to blame 9/11 for our vexing discomfort with multiple issues facing the nation. Surely the attack five years ago changed America forever, maybe expelling the remaining vestibules of innocence left over from the Kennedy assassination.
But it has not changed the basic tenants upon which this nation was founded. Only botched economics and a questionable war with almost 4000 dead to its credit, and a bellicose jingoistic attitude toward the world community can harm us. And harm us it has with payback just around the corner for the GOP.
The question is simple.
Will the same old scare tactics, diversionary attacks, and negative campaigning the Bush boys have engineered to such a fine art, once again prevail?
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