Biggest Spending Rise Since 1990 - Where Are the Fiscal Conservatives?
Republican voters are angry, not for the first time, at big-spending politicians in Washington. This year, their wrath is aimed at their own party.Like gay marriage? What else does this administration have to brag about? Passing tax cuts during a time of war (remember, we're spending $100K/per minute in Iraq).
The Republican-controlled Congress heads into the Nov. 7 elections having increased federal spending this year by 9 percent -- the most since 1990 -- to about $2.7 trillion, according to projections from the White House Office of Management and Budget. The agency estimates government spending will grow to 20.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2006 from 18.5 percent when President George W. Bush took office in 2001.
"We've strayed a long way from the principles the party was founded upon," said Representative Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican.
Republicans need a big turnout by their core supporters if they are to avoid losing their majorities in the House of Representatives and, possibly, the Senate. Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, said those core supporters are the very voters who are most likely to be angered by the increased spending, and who may stay home in protest.
"It's one of a handful of reasons why Republicans are discouraged," Ayres said. "I don't know what you can say that will mollify the Republican base on this subject. You're better off talking to them about other subjects."