Campbell Blames Democrats for Fiscal Mess Made by GOP

In a laughable column in today’s (March 14) OC Register, Congressman John Campbell touts the GOP’s “American Taxpayer Bill of Rights,” which he claimed co-authorship of as a member of the Republican Study Committee chair on the Budget and Spending Taskforce.

I am reminded of the big spender at a fancy restaurant who left his wallet at home when the bill comes, and then skips out on washing dishes.

The goals of the plan include tossing the tax code and building a “taxpayer-friendly agenda for when we regain control.”

“The road back to fiscal sanity in Washington is likely to be a long slog unless Republicans are willing to boldly recommit ourselves to the principles that earned us the reputation as the party of lower taxes and less government,” wrote Rep. Campbell.

For those scoring at home, Campbell, or Congressman Oblivious as I like to call him, as part of the Bush Administration’s rubber stamp Republican Congress, has played a nice role voting yes on a number of Bush administration initiatives that have increased spending and expanded the size of government beyond anything ever envisioned by Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.”

Yes, Republicans cut taxes when Bush came to office in 2001 but the country was sitting on a huge budget surplus built up by President Clinton. Bush became the first political leader *ever* to cut taxes in the middle of a war. We’re spending more than $2 billion a week in Iraq, and for what? The level of sectarian violence and terrorist attacks has increased significantly ever since 2003.

More on that in a moment.

But Republicans are hardly the party of less government. The size of the California government rose under Ronald Reagan. It rose under Pete Wilson. And it’s risen under Arnold Schwarzenegger. The size of the Federal Government grew under Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

The president who actually reduced government: Bill Clinton, under the RE-GO initiative led by then VP Al Gore shrunk the size of the Federal Government to the lowest point since the Kennedy Administration.

And before we get all excited about a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, how about taking away the credit cards the GOP Congress used to explode our national debt?

According to a February editorial in the conservative Washington Times: “….the national debt has increased from $5.728 trillion on Jan. 20, 2001, to $8.713 trillion last week (Feb 13, 2007). When fiscal 2007 ends on Sept. 30, the national debt will exceed $9 trillion, according to the administration’s forecast.”

So Congressman, your party was in the majority for 12 years. You were part of that party for two years. The GOP has been in power since 2002. How come there wasn’t a Taxpayer Bill of Rights then?

And blaming the Democrats for having a spending problem as they try to clean up the mess left behind by the likes of Campbell and his party is just plain hypocritical. This is part of the large denial the Republicans, especially those in the OC congressional delegation) have had since the November elections. If they can just get back to their core principles, they will take power again.

The problem is they still fail to recognize the impact of Iraq, the corruption scandals, Scooter Libby, NeoCons, Jack Abramoff, the firing of U.S. attorneys, violations of civil liberties and so on.

And this column by Congressman Campbell makes me wonder if he’s been paying attention to any of this.

The column seems to suggest, no, he isn’t.


Back to the notion of “by fighting them over there, we won’t fight them here.” The war in Iraq and the re-election of President Bush represent the greatest recruiting tool for terrorism.

A study done by Mother Jones magazine using data culled from international non-partisan organizations:
Our study yields one resounding finding: The rate of fatal terrorist attacks around the world by jihadist groups, and the number of people killed in those attacks, increased dramatically after the invasion of Iraq. Globally there was a 607 percent rise in the average yearly incidence of attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after) and a 237 percent rise in the fatality rate (from 501 to 1,689 deaths per year). A large part of this rise occurred in Iraq, the scene of almost half the global total of jihadist terrorist attacks. But even excluding Iraq and Afghanistan—the other current jihadist hot spot—there has been a 35 percent rise in the number of attacks, with a 12 percent rise in fatalities.

  27 comments for “Campbell Blames Democrats for Fiscal Mess Made by GOP

  1. March 14, 2007 at 10:05 pm

    Speaking of….

    Your favorite congressman now has a blog, hosted by that ginormous juggernaut,



  2. RHackett
    March 15, 2007 at 7:35 am

    This guy is insane.

  3. March 15, 2007 at 7:59 am

    This guy is insane.

    How very true. The lights are on, but is anyone home up there in Ken-doll’s head?

  4. March 15, 2007 at 9:18 am


    Campbell Blames Democrats For Fiscal Mess Made By GOP

    Really? Where did he do that? Maybe you are reading a version of Campbell’s column available only to liberals.

    Yes, Republicans cut taxes when Bush came to office in 2001 but the country was sitting on a huge budget surplus built up by President Clinton.

    Wow — Clinton did that all by his lonesome? Didn’t we have a Republican Congress during the last six years of his presidency? Or did they cede him their constitutional power to appropriate funds?

    In the column that was printed in the OCR yesterday, Campbell – who has been in Congress a little more than a year — copped to the fact that the GOP Congress hasn’t been fiscally responsible. That is the reason why Republicans like myself are so disenchanted with our congressional wing: mots of them were acting like Democrats.

    Perhaps you could try taking issue with Campbell’s proposals, rather than just calling him names.

  5. March 15, 2007 at 9:32 am

    The GOP has been in power since 2002. How come there wasn’t a Taxpayer Bill of Rights then?

    Now you’re beginning to understand why the Republican base is so disenchanted. We don’t need two Democratic parties.

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    March 15, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Re-read the second paragraph, second sentence. Last paragraph, first sentence. I especially like his line, “If the Democrats are unwilling to accept these common-sense proposals, which is unlikely, it will expose their indifference to fiscal responsibility.” Three months in power and the Dems are the fiscally irresponsible ones.

    Matt — trusting the Republicans in Congress with fiscal responsibility is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage, to quote PJ O’Rourke.

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    March 15, 2007 at 10:36 am

    Matt —
    second point. I am taking issue with the proposals he is presenting. Where were they when Campbell and the GOP was in the majority? You cannot keepclaiming this mantle of being the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility when the record doesn’t reflect that. But it is something th ebase like to hear

  8. March 15, 2007 at 10:51 am


    You haven’t taken issue with the proposals. You haven’t said “I support that idea” or I oppose that idea.” You’ve merely asked why they weren’t adopted when the GOP controlled Congress.

    As for the final line in Campbell’s article: that isn’t blaming the Democrats for the mess made by the GOP. It’s a challenge to the Dems to live up to their claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility.

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    March 15, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Matt — where have the Dems claimed that?
    But let’s go step by step>

    1. Growing budget at the same rate as family budget – The GOP has zero credibility on this at a federal level. Note the explsion in the national debt, not the budget deficit, the debt, held largely by the Japanese, PRC and Saudis. Demonstrable incompetence on the part of the GOP; great idea, but they have already proven they cannot be trusted with this.

    2. Protect Social Security. I believe it was GOP proposals to privatize this social contract from one generation to the next. I think most Americans would view Democrats as the party that will protect Social Security.

    3. Scrap the tax code. I think Steve Forbes went down in flames not once but twice trying to do this. Due for an overhaul. And again, with the power in the majority, the Republicans failed to do anything here.

    4. A Balanced Budget amendment. I see he repeats Arnold’s line on “not a revenue problem, but a spending one.” Yeah, war is hell and expensive. Let’s hear more details..

    Bottom line — Campbell’s closing the barn door after the horse took off.
    And in “exposing” Democrats, Campbell really exposes the inaction of the congressional Republicans.

  10. RHackett
    March 15, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Jubal. Do yourself a favor and stop defending the indefensible. Campbell blaming the dems for anything is pretty funny. It only proves he lives in some bizarro world parallel universe. No doubt there are constiuents who actually believe his rhetoric, but the rest of us who actually pay attention know otherwise.

    It’s sort of like my son coming home from college telling me he was called a ‘traitor’ by conservative students because he didn’t support the war. All he did was then ask when any of his “patriotic” colleagues were enlisting to “support the president.” The backstroking that ensued was of Olympic caliber. Like Dick Cheney all those conservative students all stated it was more important for them to finish school first. I am so proud of him.

    Campbell only proves that he still has no idea why the GOP’s lost both houses of Congress. Maybe when he figures it out he’ll get the opportunity to be in the majority. Something he’s only known for a whopping nine months during his career as a legislator.

  11. March 15, 2007 at 3:52 pm


    Again, you aren’t engaging any of Campbell’s proposal’s on the merits. Your comments are variations on “Who are Republicans to talk?” or flat assertions that the proposals aren’t politically viable.

  12. March 15, 2007 at 4:00 pm


    You might consider enrolling in a reading comprehension program, or try reading Campbell’s op-ed rather than relying on Dan’s interpretation of it. Only a fraction of the column even mentions the Democrats. Instead, it is devoted to advancing policy proposals. You could discuss those, but I suppose it’s easier to accuse Campbell of “living in some bizarro world parallel universe.”

  13. RHackett
    March 15, 2007 at 5:26 pm


    Please tell me how Campbell is considered successful when he inherited well. I never realized choosing the right parents was a sign of success. Nothing against the well heeled, but it says a lot when folks like John start lecturing on how others should listen to him. If I’d been born with millions, I might have similar beliefs. But until that moment occurs I’ll be happy to give his thoughts all the attention it deserves.

  14. March 15, 2007 at 6:10 pm


    Since you seem to know some much about the details of John Campbell’s business success, why don’t you share them with us?

  15. RHackett
    March 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    To use the metaphor I heard in college. It’s much easier to win a game of Monopoly when you start out owning half the board.

    You’re not going to tell us with a straight face that Campbell is a rags to riches story, are you?

  16. Dan Chmielewski
    March 15, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    On the merits, its rhetoric to be proposed so he can complain about it when its shot down. If he truly had the bet interests of the country at heart, this would have been on the table when the GOP had the majority. Hard to claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility with budget deficits and national debt piling up around you; each’s American’s share is closing in on $30K. Google the Debt Clock to see how much you guys have run up,


  17. RHackett
    March 15, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    Jubal. Campbell’s blog today makes a statement that he knows something about fiscal policy. Could you point me to any public statement he’s made criticizing the President’s policy of cutting revenue while hiking spending into oblivion? Showing leadership now is easy. Leadership is saying something and making a statement when you are in the majority. To the best of my knowledge he’s not once publicly criticized the GOP president and previous GOP majority congress about their profligate spending. But now that majorities have flipped, he’s all of a sudden a leader on fiscal policy.

    Gimme a break.

  18. March 15, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    “Uninformed partisan hackery?” Sounds like Red County to me.

  19. March 15, 2007 at 11:39 pm


    Clever slogan from your college days.

    What you’re trying to say is you don’t actually know anything about John Campbell’s business career other than you’ve heard he inherited a lot of money, and rather than make that any plainer you toss out some irrelevant aphorism from college.

  20. March 15, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Could you point me to any public statement he’s made criticizing the President’s policy of cutting revenue while hiking spending into oblivion?

    Maybe you could point to any data showing the President has a policy of cutting revenue? In fact, I believe federal revenues have increased every year.

  21. March 15, 2007 at 11:42 pm


    At Red County, it’s informed partisan hackery.

    At Orange Juice — or more specfically, nearly all of your posts — it is uninformed decline-to-state hackery.

  22. March 15, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    To the best of my knowledge he’s not once publicly criticized the GOP president and previous GOP majority congress about their profligate spending.


    Actually, he did so in the op-ed you’ve been criticizing:

    Yes, I do admit our party deserved to lose credibility with voters on this issue [fiscal responsibility].

    And again:

    The road back to fiscal sanity in Washington is likely to be a long slog, unless Republicans are willing to boldly recommit ourselves to the principles that earned us the reputation as the party of lower taxes and less government.

    “Recommit” meaning too many Congressional Republicans had abandoned those principles and instead sought to maintain power through redistricting and pork barreling alone.

  23. RHackett
    March 16, 2007 at 6:08 am

    So Jubal. Enlighten us. Did Campbell work his way through USC and UCLA waiting tables? Working fast food? Did he ever have to make the choice of either paying tuition or paying the rent. Do tell. Many of my classmates did have to make those choices. When you refer to yourself as John Campbell III that says a lot about the individual. Most of the people I know with numbers after their name consider themselves to be a bit better than those of us who don’t. Maybe he’s the exception. But I doubt it.

    And I did the read the Op Ed. Like I said earlier, those remarks should have been said when he first went to Congress. More importantly, as a leader in the party, they should have been said years ago as an Assemblyman or State Senator when this trend started. You’ll have to pardon me if I am just a bit skeptical of the GOP’s newly found interest in claims of smaller government or fiscal responsibility. I’ve been voting since 1972 and I’ve yet to see any GOP president or GOP Governor in CA shrink government or reduce spending. You asked earlier if Clinton’s surplus was done by his lonesome. I would have to say yes. The only component that has changed since Clinton left office is a GOP president. And the facts speak for themselves.

  24. Dan Chmielewski
    March 16, 2007 at 8:22 am

    Matt — Those are hardly public condemnations of the president’s policies but instead tries to justify why the GOP lost majorities last November without ever adding Iraq to the mix. Campbell’s voting record is solidly behind the president.

    Bush has approval ratings in the low 30s/high 20s everywhere but in Congress.

  25. RHackett
    March 16, 2007 at 9:57 am

    And Jubal. Campbell clearly misspeaks when he states conservatives have to “recommit” to fiscal responsibility. He should’ve written “commit” since they have to show they embraced those principles in anything other than lip service.

  26. Dan Chmielewski
    March 16, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Nice to see the Letters to the Editor section of the Register agrees with us today

  27. Pedrozabot
    March 18, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    I noticed Art’s comment from March 15, and it reminded me of the promise he made on his March 12 post on Orange Juice

    “I also won’t be posting at any other local blogs going forward. If I have something to say, I will say it here at the Orange Juice.”

    Wow — it only took Art three days to break his promise when presented with an opportunity to take a cheap shot at Red County/OC Blog.

    Art Pedroza: promises made, promises broken!

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