Last night, I had the privilege of joining my friends Krystle Weeks and Jim Hoeft on a Virginia bloggers call with Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who discussed the Republican alternative budgets to Barack Obama’s $4-Trillion spending spree, which is likely to be voted on today.
One thing that’s clear is the differring visions that undergird the budgets: The Democrat budget calls for huge tax increases, including letting the Bush tax cuts expire and even undoing the 2010 elimination of the estate tax; the Republican proposals, on the other hand, emphasize tax cuts and tax reform.
And how’s this for a sobering tidbit? Although many criticize the Obama plan as following Europe down the path to socialism, it would actually render the United States ineligible to join the European Union, because its debt levels are too high, according to Mr. Goodlatte.
Even some Democrats at least claim to be leery of the enormity of President Obama’s proposed budget, although Mr. Goodlatte expects most of them to fall in line with the President. Blue-dog Democrat, he said, really means yellow-dog Democrat from a conservative district. Many of them are likely to talk the language of fiscal responsibility, but vote for the Obama spending spree in the end.
But there is some good news. As Mr. Goodlatte acknowledged, the Republicans have been fairly criticized for fiscal irresponsibility. Having lost the last two national election cycles, they’re finally trying to recover their roots as the party of free markets and limited government. Are they any more sincere than the yellow/blue-dog Democrats, who’ll tout conservative economic values but don’t really believe or even understand them? Recent history shouts a resounding NO! But even so, while Republicans who understand and believe in the free market and fiscal responsibility would be best, those who don’t but are too scared to enrage the taxpayers any further are better than those who ooze contempt for the will of the people. In other words, it’s better to have Representatives who agree with us, but being scared of us is a second we can work with.