From the better-late-than-never department, President Bush calls for fiscal restraint. One of the biggest spenders in history suddenly wants fiscal responsibility — a stunning and most welcome reversal. Will Congressional Democratic leadership agree and constrain spending? Or will Congress continue wasteful pork under new Democratic leadership?
President Bush said Wednesday he’ll submit a five-year budget proposal that will balance the federal budget by 2012 and called on Congress to sharply cut back on costly pet projects hidden in spending bills.
“Over the past few years, pro-growth economic policies have generated higher revenues,” he said. “Together with spending restraint, these policies allowed us to meet our goal of cutting the budget deficit in half three years ahead of schedule.”
Bush called on Congress to sharply reduce spending on pet projects prized by lawmakers.
Fiscal restraint is always good — Republicans have demonstrated a lack of fiscal discipline, and Democrats, well, they don’t call them the tax-and-spend party for nothing. Earmarks will continue to be a problem in the new Congress, along with wasteful pork spending. Most likely, nothing will change as the country continues to pass along debt to the future (pay-go will fail to contain pork as Congress will just find ways around it when they want to).
Republicans and Democrats — neither is fiscally responsible. The only time either party speaks of fiscal responsibility is when they’re in the minority. Democrats spoke of restraining spending during the election, but now that they’re in the majority, will they? Likely not.
I hope the new fiscal responsibility of the Democrats is true, but history (and tradition) shows otherwise. Republicans had their chance and blew it; Democrats and the new Congressional leadership now have a historic opportunity — if they actually contain spending they could control Congress for a l-o-n-g time.
Will they take the ball and run, or fumble?