In a laughable column in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (March 14) OC Register, Congressman John Campbell touts the GOPÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“American Taxpayer Bill of Rights,Ã¢â‚¬Â 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 Ã¢â‚¬Å“taxpayer-friendly agenda for when we regain control.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“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,Ã¢â‚¬Â wrote Rep. Campbell.
For those scoring at home, Campbell, or Congressman Oblivious as I like to call him, as part of the Bush AdministrationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 JohnsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Great Society.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 TaxpayerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.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.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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 wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢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 heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been paying attention to any of this.
The column seems to suggest, no, he isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
Back to the notion of Ã¢â‚¬Å“by fighting them over there, we wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fight them here.Ã¢â‚¬Â 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 AfghanistanÃ¢â‚¬â€the other current jihadist hot spotÃ¢â‚¬â€there has been a 35 percent rise in the number of attacks, with a 12 percent rise in fatalities.