Friday, December 13, 2013

Republicans still losing tax and spending battles

It is conventional wisdom that Republicans are dominating the tax and spending language, direction, and general topical area of the federal budget.  The mainstream media keeps referring to how the Tea Party has affected the conversation.  We constantly talk about cuts to government, and tax increases are pretty much off the table.  But what's the reality?

In 2005, a year with total Republican control of the budget, the US spent  $2.47 trillion
In 2010, a year with total Democratic control of the budget, the US spent  $3.45 trillion
In 2013, a year with Tea Party control of the House, the US spent $3.45 trillion

Of course this obscures many policy choices, and differences between the parties. But the fact is, Republicans have not reduced the size of government.  In fact, with the coming retirement of baby boomers, they haven't done anything of note to fix the long term issues.

On taxes,

In 2005  the government collected 2.15 in revenue
In 2010  the government collected 2.16 in revenue
In 2013  the government collected 2.77 in revenue

That is clearly more stable than the revenue.  It includes a tax increase at the beginning of 2013 from a "fiscal cliff" deal between the parties.  It could be argued to be misleading because it includes social security and medicare taxes, "payroll", that most analysts don't usually talk about in terms of the budget.

But lets go back to 1997.  Which is after the "Republican Revolution" of 1994, and President Bill Clinton's reelection in 1996 and they came together in a budget deal; 

1997 revenue $1.495 trillion  and 1997 spending $1.635 trillion
So in 16 years  taxes have risen 85%,   and spending has risen over 110%.

Sure there's numerous caveats:

-population growth
-9/11 security spending
-financial crisis

But just know that the idea that Republicans have been so "extreme" and trying to "starve the beast" of big government is factually not true.

People who truly favor smaller government: less taxes and less services really don't have a voice in Washington.

Lucky for me, I'm not one of them.

I feel like the government should be doing more in many areas, and it's easy to criticize so much.  But the solution is to get in there and advocate for what I believe.  You should do the same based on the facts.

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