ICYMI: "A power switch is not a fiscal fix"

November 15, 2010

In an editorial (“A power switch is not a fiscal fix”) published in Sunday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gretchen Hamel, Executive Director of Public Notice, looks to the GOP’s spending history to explain why Americans’ concerns about government overspending have not been allayed by Republican wins in last Tuesday’s election.

During the Bush administration, Republicans really let themselves go. As a staffer on Capitol Hill and in the administration during those years, it was painful to watch. The federal budget grew by 54 percent between 2001 and 2009. Many attribute the increase solely to the wars, but that was not the case. Only 40 percent of President George W. Bush’s net new spending was on defense. During this era, Republicans increased spending on many other areas of the budget by more than 50 percent. And that doesn’t include their sweeping new entitlement benefit to Medicare — which they added without cutting costs elsewhere, and with the full knowledge that the program was already fiscally unsustainable.

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