For the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, President George W. Bush promised to veto at least nine of the 12 annual spending bills put forth by the Democratic majority in the House and six of the seven put forth by the Democratic majority in the Senate. As President Bush now moves to stop Democratic spending, he never curtailed conservative spending while the Republicans controlled Congress. During that time, discretionary spending increased — defense programs by 11 percent and non-defense programs by seven percent. Through President Bush’s first five years in office, the federal government increased by $616 billion.
In comparison to President Bill Clinton, total federal expenditures rose 19.2 percent during President Bush’s first term in office. Under President Clinton, federal spending, adjusted for inflation, increased by 4.7 percent in his first term and just 3.7 percent in his second term.
Last Wednesday, following a Bush veto to the health, education and job-training bill, the House passed the transportation and housing bill, which included $195 million in funding to replace the collapsed Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis. But like the health, education and job training bill, the White House has promised another veto: “Congress has failed to show a path to hold spending to reasonable and responsible levels. This unwarranted spending puts a balanced budget in jeopardy and risks future tax increases.”
Yet in looking at conservative spending over the past seven years, it is the Bush administration that has been unable to hold spending to reasonable and responsible levels. What is more, in years to come, war spending by President Bush has put a balanced budget in jeopardy and risks future tax increases.
By the end of 2008, President Bush will have most likely created the biggest government in U.S. history – bigger than President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s. However, unlike FDR and LBJ, Bush will not have improved the stability of the United States. The effects of the New Deal and Great Society bettered the lives of many Americans. Bush will have no such legacy.
Staff Editorial Minnesota Daily University of Minnesota U-Wire