GOP spends like there’s no tomorrow

Attacks on “tax-and-spend” liberal Democrats have long been a favorite weapon in the Republican campaign arsenal.

I’m a tax-and-spend liberal myself (as long as the taxing is progressive and the spending produces benefits for the whole society). And I don’t object to controlled deficit spending as a means of boosting the economy. Nonetheless I recognize the appeal of the GOP’s message to many voters.

But now it appears that President Bush and the Republican leadership of Congress have earned the label of “don’t-tax-but-spend-like-there’s-no-tomorrow” conservatives.

Today’s Washington Post reports:

As Congress rushes to conclude its 2003 session, Republican leaders are trying to garner votes for controversial legislation by loading the bills with billions of dollars in added costs that analysts said would expand the budget deficit for years to come. The year-end binge has alarmed analysts in Washington and on Wall Street, coming as it does after three years of presidential and congressional initiatives that have both substantially boosted government spending and shrunk its tax base.

“The U.S. budget is out of control,” the Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs & Co. warned Friday in its weekly newsletter to clients.

“The only thing I can tell you is evidently the word ‘tomorrow’ no longer exists in the vocabulary of otherwise responsible members of Congress,” said Warren Rudman, a former New Hampshire Republican senator and long-standing budget hawk. “They are acting as if there is no tomorrow.”

What’s particularly galling is that the full disastrous impact of these policies won’t appear until well after the 2004 election, when Bush will no longer have to answer politically for them.

I’m pleased that some conservatives are sounding the alarm. Where are the rest?