Thursday, September 04, 2008

Oh, Smaller Government?

(Broadview Hts, OH)- As I listened to the Palin speech, and the Giuliani speech last night, the biggest thing that caught my attention were statements that this Republican ticket would result in smaller government, lower spending, and lower taxes.

Now, why should that be believed?

Sure, the Democratic ticket is going to increase spending, increase the size of government, and raise taxes. But, is that any reason to believe that Republicans won't do the same? It is what was done under the Bush Administration. While in the Senate, John McCain was writing legislation like McCain-Feingold, not legislation that would eliminate a bureaucracy or department, not legislation that would cap spending, not legislation that would significantly cut taxes.

It galls me endlessly that Republicans campaign like fiscal libertarians, and then govern like pale Democrats- except in the last eight years, where Republicans made Democrats look like a collection of Friedmans and von Miseses. Last night's speeches did nothing to reverse this. 

So, Sarah Palin's a bulldog. That's nice. Dennis Kucinich is a bulldog, and gives one hell of a speech. So what? It's about policy, and I just couldn't find it convincing.


paddy said...

Does there come a point where libertarians should try to recapture the grass roots fiscal conservative part of the republican party by running as true fiscally conservative republicans? Or does the social conservative/religous right credentialing now required in the republican party preclude this?

While I understand the desire to stand out as a third party, given the barriers to entry inherent in our current political system, is it a valid method to gain control?

Doug said...

Republicans don't govern like Democrats. They spend every bit as much money, and more (for projects that result in fewer benefits to the citizens, in my opinion); but they won't raise taxes to pay for what they spend.

I know you'd prefer neither -- and to a lesser extent, so would I -- but, given a choice, I'll take tax & spend Democrats over red-ink Republicans.

varangianguard said...

It wasn't a "policy" speech, now was it?

Vote for me instead.

varangianguard for President

Paddy said...

The willingness to accept the "lesser" of 2 evils is the root of the problem facing us today.

Mike Kole said...

Ron Paul was the attempt to reform the Republican Party. Hell- Paul is even anti-abortion, so at least that large part of the social conservative/religious right would have that. Where did Paul go? To the kiddie table in Minneapolis, for his own "oh by the way" event. The GOP showed us all we needed to know right there.

As for tax & spend, the most important part of the component is spend, and both Rs & Ds do too much of it. I agree that if you're going to spend, the worst way to do is to borrow, but the worst thing we're going to do as a government, in my opinion, is spend, because some 90% of what government spends on, it shouldn't.

Mike Kole said...

Heh- VG, I don't think of you as a 'complete unknown'! :-)

That's a fun page. My wife sent me a link with my name on it, and that was what I said, "Whaddya mean I'm an unknown?!"

Paddy said...

Good point on Ron Paul, but I was thinking more about local level politics as the entry point.

Mike Kole said...

Well, I can think of Gregg Puls here locally. He was once an officer of the Hamilton County LP, and then defected to the Rs. He has been a precinct committeeman for about three or four years now. My impression is that he isn't allowed near anything meaningful, that he was happily absorbed into the fold, but not really having any impact on how the GOP governs this county.

In actuality, though, if there is one place a third party can have hope for direct impact and even winning elections, it is at the local level. This is where Libertarians have won or have been appointed.

Most of the ex-LP faithful that I know to have defected to the Rs or Ds have their interest in federal issues. Those who are interested in local issues seem not to so joining the others as a means to it.

I was very interested in Ron Paul's candidacy and what it meant about the GOP. While I didn't agree with everything, and was certainly put off by the racist associations of his newsletter, I was very hopeful because the issues he was talking about in the fore- sound money, cutting spending, and withdrawl from Iraq happen to be the three I care about most on the federal level. Alas, he carried no state, and when making an impact, the Republican Party establishment closed the gig rather than let it proceed, as in Nevada.

Pretty much sums up the possibilities for small government types in the GOP.