Sunday, March 30, 2008

How Republicans Used To Be

Calvin Coolidge (R-MA), the 30th President of the United States.

Republicans have not always been the proponents of big government, wasteful spending, and irresponsible foreign policy that George W. Bush now makes them out to be. In fact, the man who was the most conservative president of the 20th century was a Republican from Massachusetts (of all places), named Calvin Coolidge.

Coolidge once said that, "Governments are not founded upon an association for public plunder," and, "The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the government. Every dollar we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant."

Imagine that. We once had a President who was against wasteful spending because he realized the crippling effect it had on ordinary people, unlike our sheltered, out-of-touch President who has demonstrated time and time again that “limited government” is not part of his political vocabulary.

When Calvin Coolidge became president, the Federal budget was a whopping $3.1 billion dollars. After he left office, the budget was a more restrained $2.9 billion dollars. Coolidge also raised the surplus by $225 million dollars and cut taxes by more than 2/3. George W. Bush, on the other hand, took office to a Federal budget of $1.8 trillion, and will leave with a budget of $3.1 trillion, (more than a 67% increase) and with a deficit of more than $400 billion.

In his eight years as President, George W. Bush has increased funding for the Department of Education by over 40% percent, a far cry from the former Republican platform that called for it to be abolished.

Unlike Calvin Coolidge, George W. Bush rarely, if ever, vetoes a spending bill, with his first veto coming over five years into his presidency. The only reason he even vetoed any bills at all, is because they continued provisions to end the war in Iraq, not because he suddenly became concerned about wasting our hard-earned money.

During his stay as President, George W. Bush has not only increased spending, he has also increased wasteful spending. In a little over seven years, President Bush has signed into law more than $135 billion dollars worth of wasteful Congressional earmarks, including $1.2 billion spent this year on outdated fighter jets that will never be used.

Such policies are not the policies of true conservatism. The Bush presidency has misused the rhetoric of traditional conservatism to advance an agenda that is neither conservative nor consistent with traditional American values expressed by past Republicans such as Calvin Coolidge. He hardly deserves our continued loyalty and support.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr. Collidge was a great President especially considering that he came from MA. And yes, he is more fiscally responsible than both our current President and Congress. However, Mr. Collidge did not have to worry about another 9/11 and world terrorism.


Stephanie said...

World terrorism? President is creating terrorism, not fighting it. Ohio Joe, get a life please.

Anonymous said...

No 9/11 is not an excuse for wasteful spending, but not all spending is wasteful.

How is Mr. Bush creating terrorism? I don't remember anything that Mrs. Clinton has done to fight terrorism.


Peter said...

But what about the wasteful spending then?

Every day we stay in Iraq means more young muslim men for the terrorists to recruit.

We disbanded Saddam's army after we invaded Iraq, 500,000 professional soldiers were just fired with nothing to support their families on. It's no wonder that many of those men joined the guerilla army that ironical started to emerge only a month later when the insurgents suddenly started using professional tactics.

Anonymous said...

All wars have mistakes. WWII, the Civil war and the war of Independence were not perfectly run opperations, that does not mean that our cause is unjust or wasteful. Some of Iraq's soldiers should have been fired. Would you rather they continue raping and beating?


Peter said...

We fired 500,000 soldiers just when we needed them most to help police Iraq during the lawlessness that broke out after our invasion.

That was a colossal error. Firing 500,000 professional soldiers is no way to help make friends--something we could have used a whole lot more of.

We made 500,000 people jobless--unable to be the breadwinner for their family. And guess who hired them after we fired them?

Anonymous said...

Not all of them were hired by the bad guys, some of the bad actors were, but some of these half a million clowns buggered off to Syria and Jordan in Shame. Perhaps we should not have fired them all, but would you hire them?


Peter said...

Wouldn't you rather have 500000 professional soldiers working WITH us to police the streets instead of having them working against setting up ied's and killing our soldiers?

It's not like there was a lack of money to pay for their salaries or anything. When you occupy a country rule number one is make FRIENDS, not ENEMIES.

Leaving hundreds of thousands of families without a breadwinner was hardly the way to "win the hearts and minds" of the Iraqis.