freeman3 wrote:Maybe that's true (or at least partially true)--it's hard for me to know exactly how legislators think. My observations would be these:
(a) Democrats on the whole have an ideology at the national level that encourages spending on health care, education, infrastructure and the safety net;
(b) Republicans have an ideology that focuses on tax cuts and military spending ;
Theoretically, Republicans are supposed
to be about smaller government, but that has only manifested itself in reduction of regulations lately.
(c) Republicans are budget hawks when there is a Democratic president is in power but are more concerned about military spending and tax cuts when there is a Republican president; they are unwilling to take the political hit for safety nets cuts and also they have difficulty getting past Democratic opposition (particularly past the 60 vote filibuster). Budget reconciliation means they can get tax cuts if they control the House and Senate. To the extent they need Democratic support...if they sweeten things with spending on things that Democrats want...Democrats are more willing to go along.
A lot here. I don't think it's "safety net" cuts that scare Republicans so much as entitlement reform. As our population gets older, we need to do something. Both sides just ignore it because it's not popular.
We live in a nation of political cowards and greedy people. A mature person would look at how we "govern" ourselves and be appalled. We have a $20T Debt. Democrats only talk about it when a Republican is in the White House. Republicans only talk about it when a Democrat is in the White House. That is cowardice. We need leadership.
The best remedy to all of this garbage is to get rid of the filibuster. The party in control would get to do something. It would also be accountable to the electorate. The way it is now just encourages both parties to act irresponsibly and lie about there opponents.
(d) stringent Republican opposition means Democratic presidents have difficulty getting much new spending when there is a Democratic presidency. Obama ostensibly had the political power in 20009 for a large stimulus bill but it was limited because 6 Democratic moderates wouldn't go for it (and three Republican moderates)
Again, get rid of the filibuster. Democrats can spend like drunken Marines (who are far worse than drunken sailors), then answer for it. If the public wants massive welfare, they will be rewarded. If not, they won't.
(e) Congressman go to Congress...to do something. Particularly getting projects that are in their districts. So this tends to drive spending.
Thus proving our government is too big and taxes too much. Pet projects are the bane of our republic. If MA wants something, it should pay for it itself (See Big Dig, a colossal waste of Federal money).
So ironically...it's the party that opposes deficits is the one that drives them. Not to say the Democrats wouldn't do so if they could...but the way things are structured now doesn't allow it.
Well, Democrats are responsible for the increases in domestic spending in the new budget deal. Republicans were just dumb enough to compromise. They should have voted away the filibuster. Someone will eventually.