Monday, February 10, 2003

A Political Budget

President Bush has submitted his budget to Congress and it is, in the words of many, a political document. Mr. Bush's brand of "compassionate conservatism" requires precipitous increases in the discretionary budget. In other words, items other than the military and previously mandated increases in entitlements are going through the roof, out of control. Actually, this is a kind way to state it. The truth is that this spending is under tight control, and it is being controlled into a steep rise. Education and Health care expenditures are being accelerated in order to enhance the administration's "compassionate" credentials, but the cost is the creation of deficits that promise to break records. The amazing thing is that the cost of the war on terrorism is not even included in this 10 figure budget... over 1.2 trillion dollars!

While we know that the choice was strictly between Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore, and thus there was no choice, we can remind ourselves that this was the better of two alternatives. However, this all goes to prove my point, made many times in this space, that there is really no difference between the candidates for major office in this country. Both major parties are statist, and believe that the people are too stupid to decide how to spend our own money, and that government needs to confiscate our money and power in order to arrange things for us. The only difference in that the donkeys will tax us to get the money to pursue their agenda, and the elephants will cut taxes, and rely on the laws of economics to boost the growth rate and therefore procure for them more money from a more vibrant economy to fund their big government schemes, which, they hope, will buy them enough votes to ensure re-election.

Those of us who desire a smaller government, a less intrusive "Nanny State," and increased freedom for individual citizens, have a long way to go. Maybe only republicans or democrats can win national elections, but neither is capable of offering any change from the trends of larger and more intrusive government, and diminishing freedom across the board. It is not a matter of the lesser evil; both are equally evil. Only the gap in foreign policy differentiates the two parties. I have, and will continue to vote for the party that promises peace through strength rather than capitulation to Internationalist Ostrichism, but I have grave forbodings about what will happen to us once the terroristic Islamic enemy is vanquished. Once the war is over, unless Bush's Protestant prophesy of the end times comes true, we will be in a heap of trouble. And we will win the war, and the boomers will retire. At that point, the government, whether donkey or elephant, will be relying upon the same "lock box" that kept us laughing through the 2000 presidential campaign.

Unless a fiscally responsible third party emerges that is strong enough to contend for national electoral victory, God help us....