Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Conservative?

The NYT analysis of the budget; a Heritage Foundation report on the budget.

NRO's Jonah Goldberg:

"[Bush] is tossing around money like he's a pimp with a week to live."

4 Comments:

At 9:45 AM, Blogger RedHurt said...

well, yup.

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger Barnabas18 said...

Compassionate Conservatism = Big Government Conservative.

I like Bush as a guy, and as a leader, but he ain't a fiscal conservative. I'd also argue that he's not a social conservative (No Child Left Behind and Drug Entitlements) despite the fact that he's pro-life, pro-gun, etc.

George Allen in '08,

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger GMack said...

I say that we just take our money and use it to hire Chinese people to make great RPG characters for the United States and then challenge other countries to Interstellar Domination via the game with our stacked characters.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger J. Morgan Caler said...

Barnabas, I don’t think I am going to agree with you about the “Compassionate Conservatism” business.

According to the Heritage Foundation report, the current budget proposal includes $538 billion for Defense and $30 billion for Homeland Security. In addition, Congress has granted roughly $50 billion for the war effort in the coming fiscal year. The Whitehouse wants to raise that to about $120 billion in special, non-budgetary allocations (the bulk of which will come out of the same revenues as budgetary allocations). That amount is not included in the budget proposal (it is extra-budgetary spending). That means that, when everything is said and done, the Whitehouse wants to spend $688 billion or about 28% of total revenues on wars and defense.

So it isn’t quite right to say that this fiscal disaster is attributable to “Compassionate Conservatism.” It seems more likely that “Compassionate Conservatism” mixed with good ol’ Neo-Con Hawkishness is what is going on. What you said is way too reductionist.

The other thing that a budget or budget analysis doesn’t uncover is how that money is spent once it has been allocated. This all gets complicated, but the contention that these programs are too expensive and not effective enough is wrapped up in this issue, not in budget allocations. I want to suggest that the reason so many programs aren’t effect while still being incredibly costly is because the intended recipients of benefits from, say, Medicare/Medicaid weren’t the poor and elderly in need of healthcare, but drug companies and HMOs.

I am totally for overhauling entitlement programs, but I suspect that means for you and for me different things. So you seem to think that there is a better, more conservative way to do things. What exactly is that? What, for instance, should the government do in the case of Medicare/Medicaid/Drug Benefits? How would it be different than what the President has already done?

 

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