Published in The Arizona Daily Star on October 28, 1994
Much has been made of late about the "Contract with America" signed by Republican candidates and incumbents. The Democrats who ridicule the plan are right to do so, but for all the wrong reasons.
The plan, with its promises to cut taxes, increase military spending, and balance the budget is much like Ronald Reagan's 1980 platform. The Reagan tax cuts were reductions in the marginal tax rates which promoted great economic growth and, in turn, increased tax revenue. Federal revenues more than doubled in the 1980s, more than enough to pay for increased military spending.
Here's the rub: the Republicans were unwilling to cut domestic spending. Eighty percent of federal budget growth in the 1980s went to non-military programs. Republicans lacked the resolve to withstand the rhetorical slings and arrows they would inevitably provoke were they to even mention real cuts in domestic spending. Not only that, but the Republicans gave us the largest tax hike in American history, as well as caving in on such issues as racial quotas and environmental regulations. By 1992, the Republicans were only nominally less socialist than the Democrats. Columnist Joseph Sobran once wrote that if you liked Bush, you ought to love Clinton.
This is why I re-registered as a Libertarian. Republicans and Democrats continue to fiddle while America disintegrates into a Sweden with missiles. Libertarians, however, are serious about eliminating unnecessary and unconstitutional programs, as well as most of the taxes you and I must pay in order to fund them. Over 100 Libertarians have been elected to various state and local offices across America. Over 40 Libertarians are running for office in Arizona this year.
Republicans in Congress are rejoicing because they thwarted health care reform Clinton style. Well woopty-doo! We still have an ungodly amount of government intrusion in medicine, and the Republicans have no specific plans for alleviating it.
To say you favor less government than the Democrats is like saying that you lead a more temperate lifestyle than the Rolling Stones. Until the Republicans get serous about real tax, spending and regulatory cuts, they cannot be taken seriously as a party of limited government.
Douglas F. Newman
Freely Speaking: Speeches and Essays by Doug Newman
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