One of the reasons the Democrats won that resounding victory in the 2006 elections is that Republicans lost their way. In the 109th Congress there was profligate spending which would have made President Lyndon B. Johnson blush. Following the 2006 elections the Party leadership resolved that the GOP was going to get back on track. The leadership determined that spending was again going to be a major issue for the Republicans.
Toward that end, Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) has produced a booklet to help GOP Members of Congress "in making the case for a smaller, less intrusive, more efficient and more effective federal government."
The idea, said Blunt, is to provide Members, staff and those interested in the issue with an easy-to-use instrument to craft speeches, prepare for interviews and write op-eds for newspapers.
The booklet can be downloaded at http://republicanwhip.house.gov/UploadedFiles/FINAL_Little_Gov't.pdf. Among those assisting Blunt in the project were Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), Conference Chairman Adam H. Putnam (R-FL), and Chief Deputy Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA).
The Majority in the House of Representatives, for example, has passed measures thus far which would triple the rate of inflation and almost triple economic growth. The extra money required to pay for these new spending bills would be raised by spending the surplus and raising taxes.
The Majority's spending plan, the booklet says, can be put into context as follows. At $2.9 trillion the level of spending is incomprehensible. But the more common figure of $1 billion is understood as follows:
* If you went on a spending spree of $1,000 today and every day you would have to shop for the next 2,740 years.
* A billion minutes ago the Roman Empire was flourishing.
* Yet the Federal Government spent $1 billion in the last three and one half hours.
The booklet explains the national debt as follows: As of July 31, 2007, the national debt, the sum total of all of our annual deficits, was $8.9 trillion. With a population of 302.6 million people, that works out to $29,500 for every man, woman and child in the United States.
That calculates as follows: Debt owed to the Public: $5.0 trillion and debt owed to Government trust funds $3.9 trillion. We owe $320 billion to Medicare, $1.9 trillion to Social Security and $857 billion for the retirement of Federal employees.