Big Government Bush

Posted on November 30, 2003 by Gene

If you voted for Bush because you thought Gore was more likely to enlarge government, the joke’s on you. From today’s Post:

In 2000 George W. Bush campaigned across the country telling voters: “My opponent trusts government. I trust you.”

Little wonder that some of his supporters are now wondering which candidate won that election.

Federal spending has increased by 23.7 percent since Bush took office. Education has been further federalized in the No Child Left Behind Act. Bush pulled out all the stops to get Republicans in Congress to create the biggest new entitlement program — prescription drug coverage under Medicare — in 40 years.

He pushed an energy bill that my colleague Jerry Taylor described as “three parts corporate welfare and one part cynical politics . . . a smorgasbord of handouts and subsidies for virtually every energy lobby in Washington.”

It’s a far cry from the less-government, “leave us alone” conservatism of Ronald Reagan.

… In Bush’s first three years, nondefense discretionary spending — which fell by 13.5 percent under Ronald Reagan — has soared by 20.8 percent. His more libertarian-minded voters are taken aback to discover that “compassionate conservatism” turned out to mean social conservatism — a stepped-up drug war, restrictions on medical research, antigay policies, federal subsidies for marriage and religion — and big-spending liberalism justified as “compassion.”