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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Voters Tired of Being Bribed With Their Own Money

The out-of-control spending by the federal government has reached new heights of insanity since 911.

Things were turning around after the Republicans got control of congress in 1994. The welfare state was at least caged, if not fully tamed, and some measure of responsibility was returning to Washington.

But in the wake of 911 and the need for increased spending for the War on Terrorism, Republicans who lacked principle (which unfortunately looks like most of them) decided the war was good cover to stuff the budget with all kinds of garbage. But it didn't go unnoticed.

The people, even other Republicans, could see they were spending like the proverbial "drunken sailors" (no insult intended to my retired Navy friends), and in 2006 Republican voters pulled the rug out from under these drunks. Oh, there were other reasons, such as the immoral behavior of some congressmen, and a general bent of liberalism from too many, but the spending was probably the single largest factor in the Republicans' loss of support from the base.

But could this disgust with the taxpayer-funded party be spreading? Could even "moderate" voters be getting tired of being bribed with their own money?

Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth had a piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, in which he claims voters want less pork--even in their own district.

We frequently see strong numbers for people who oppose pork...but they usually still want "their guy" to bring home the bacon. Somehow our pork is considered more legitimate than the other guy's pork.

Here's what the Club for Growth poll found:

Conducted in late June, the poll surveyed 800 voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46%. Likely voters were asked the following question: "All things being equal, for whom would you be more likely to vote for the U.S. Congress: 1) A candidate who wants to cut overall federal spending, even if that includes cutting some money that would come to your district or 2) A candidate who wants to increase overall spending on federal programs, as long as more federal spending and projects come to your district?"

The results were unambiguous. Fifty-four percent of general election voters chose the frugal candidate, compared with only 29% who chose the profligate candidate. Republicans overwhelming favor less federal spending, 72% to 17%, with independents close behind at 61%. Only Democrats prefer more federal spending, but only by a plurality. Thirty-six percent of Democrats chose the more fiscally conservative candidate, with 42% choosing the alternative.

I would be skeptical of these results, if congressional approval ratings weren't so low; the last I heard, they were about 9%.

Maybe the American people are finally starting to slowly wake up to the fact that we can't just keep taxing and spending, and remain a thriving and free nation.

We can only hope the profligates in Washington will soon sit up and take notice. Of course, if they don't, the people can always throw them out--and should.


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