Out of control spending: blame endless wars or bike trails? Guess which one the Republicans do

Thanks to the Lane Report and former Lexington GOP State Representative Pat Freibert, we get a glimpse into the mind of conservatives.

In the latest issue of the Lane Report Ms. Freibert takes “lame duck senators” to task for porking up the Federal budget.  She goes on a diatribe about the irresponsibility of earmarks that threaten “our democratic republic’s very existence.”

Sounds scary.  So what are these projects that threaten our very existence?  They are “…projects such as beach promenades, illuminated jogging paths, landscaping, bicycle and hiking trails – all nice to have, but not national priorities for beleaguered taxpayers,” This waste, according to Ms. Freibert, is “immoral.”

I shit you not.

Let me see if I can get this straight.  Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and national defense (think endless wars) account for at least 61% of US government spending.

Throw in safety net programs and interest on the national debt and now we’re talking 81% of the government budget.   Veteran retirements are 7%, scientific and medical research account for 2%, transportation infrastructure 3%, education 3%, foreign aid 1% AND EVERYTHING ELSE is 4%.

That 4% is what we use to create the things that improve our national and local quality of life.

That 4% is what separates us from a Third-World nation.

That 4% of the $3.6 trillion dollar budget in 2010 amounts to $144 billion. Sounds like a lot, until you realize that is just $464 for every man woman and child in this country.

Republicans don’t care.  They don’t need bike trails because they already belong to the country club.  They already have beachfront promenades.  They already belong to the health spa.    And the ones that don’t have all those things don’t care about them anyway.  So why should they be taxed to pay for them?

According to the Republican Ms. Freibert says (in this one article)  this is nothing but “out-of-control federal spending”, “runaway pork spending,” “unrestrained spending,” “skyrocketing federal spending,” “wasteful spending….unrestrained spending” (both of those in the same sentence!), and “malignant spending.” (Sounds like someone is “spending” too much time watching FOX)

So, in this worldview, 4% of the national budget for things that improve the quality of lives of our citizens is nothing but “taxpayer abuse.”

But remember this when you hear teabaggers cry about out of control government spending:  they aren’t against the vast majority of government spending – and thus they are completely insincere about cutting our debt – they are just against paying for the things that they themselves don’t want or need.  They are fine with 96% of all Federal spending, but somehow believe that things will be well budget wise if they can whack the 4% they don’t like.

This is not a simple misunderstanding about the priorities of the budget.  This is not lunacy.  It’s something more sinister.

PS:  The Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors just released a poll that shows that “…’parks and trails’ top the list of things voters would like to see more of where they live.”  Visit them here

Dont tell the teabaggers.


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