Not Just Not the Party of Fiscal Responsibility
It's always bugged me that the Republican Party has a reputation of being the party of fiscal responsibility, since they obviously can't balance a budget to save their lives. (Heck, I wonder if they could even balance a checkbook.) I found it particularly amusing that in the first presidential debate, Bush shook his head and laughed at Kerry's long list of proposals, wondering how he was going to pay for them... and then proceeded to brag about how much his administration has spent over the past four years. And how did *you* pay for this spending, Mr. Bush? Oh, that's right, you didn't! You're sticking our kids with the bill!
Now it turns out that the Republicans are not only not the party of fiscal responsibility; they're also not the party of smaller government. In FactCheck.org's (not factcheck.com, as a certain VP mis-identified it, although I encourage you to visit that site as well) analysis of claims made by the two candidates in the vice presidential debate, I found this interesting note about job creation/loss during the past four years:
Edwards said 1.6 million private sector jobs and 2.7 million manufacturing jobs had been lost during the Bush administration. Both figures are accurate, but omit the growth in employment by federal, state and local governments. The net loss in total employment is actually 913,000 as of August, the most recent figures available. [Emphasis added.]
I have to admit that this was a bit of a shocker: Federal, state, and local government payrolls have actually *grown* over the past four years. Don't get me wrong—I certainly have no objection to jobs being created, or to improving our national security. I just think that if you're still an undecided voter, one that's attracted to the goals of fiscal responsibility and smaller government, you might give some thought as to whether Republicans are really committed to those goals—or whether they're just saying they are. (And what else might they be saying in hopes that you'll believe it?)