Well, this is hardly surprising — after more than a decade of Republican rule in Congress and more than six years of the Bush presidency, an era marked by the squandering of a record surplus and then an exploding deficit, George Bush has now decided to play the “tax and spend Liberals” card.
President Bush warned Congress on Saturday that he will use his veto power to stop runaway government spending.
“The American people do not want to return to the days of tax-and-spend policies,” Bush said in his radio address.
The House passed a $37 billion budget for the Homeland Security Department on Friday, but Republicans rallied enough votes to uphold a promised veto from Bush.
The measure — one of several annual spending bills that Congress began to consider this week — exceeds Bush’s request for the department by $2.1 billion.
Democrats on Friday defended the extra money in the homeland security bill, noting it contains money to hire 3,000 additional border agents, improve explosive detection at airports and provides money to double the amount of cargo screened on passenger aircraft. [Washington Post]
In other words, the Democrats want to bolster the lackluster job that Bush’s DHS has been doing. And since the Republicans have been spending like drunken sailors for so long, now that they are out of power they can now go back to their old accusations of tax and spend… which, frankly, is better than cut tax and spend, the GOP’s method.
Memories are short in politics, however, and people will quite easily move right into that old stereotype; Karl Rove is no doubt working feverishly to reposition the party to appear fiscally responsible. Will anyone remember the last decade of hypocrisy from the right?
Oh, and another flip flop:
In his radio broadcast, Bush also railed against earmarks _ a common Capitol Hill practice of slipping pet projects into spending bills.
He said that in January, the House passed a rule that called for full disclosure of earmarks. To give the public a chance to peek at earmarks, he said the administration has started posting them on a web site called www.earmarks.omb.gov.
When they ran the House, Republicans larded legislation with these pet projects. But on Thursday, they were the ones forcing Democrats to be more open about Congress’ pork barrel ways.
After days of bickering, Democrats this week abandoned plans to pass spending bills without allowing foes of so-called earmarks to challenge them in the full House. The hope is that by shedding more light on earmarks, excessive spending on home district projects will be curtailed.
Gee, where was this OMB website and accounting of earmarks during the first six years of the Bush administration when the Republicans were running Congress with an iron fist? I’m endlessly amused — well, annoyed — at the way the Republicans so quickly and effortlessly slipped into the role of the aggrieved party after the election, as if they were somehow a marginalized group who never had any power; as if they hadn’t done all the sneaky and unethical stuff they’d done.