Dems Still Without Credibility as Deficit Hawks

November 15, 2004

You will recall that during the entire presidential campaign the Democrats condemned President Bush as fiscally irresponsible and said John Kerry would do better. John Kerry himself also said John Kerry would do better, though he never explained how in the world he could reduce domestic spending with his ambitious spending proposals. This morning, The Wall Street Journal reports that the upcoming congressional:

lame-duck postelection session has two essential tasks: first, raising the limits on government borrowing; and second, enforcing caps on domestic spending for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The White House has promised to cap total discretionary appropriations at around $821.9 billion for fiscal year 2005, which is between 2% and 3% growth. But here’s the other interesting thing the Journal reports:

Democrats appear so dispirited by their election losses they are hardly resisting the pressure to hold the line on spending…

See the point? The Journal just automatically — unquestioningly — assumes that the Democrats are predisposed to resist the pressure to curb spending. This confirms that their natural inclination is to spend more on domestic programs. They’ll always outspend the Republicans, even President Bush. It seems that the only times Democrats pretend to be domestic spending misers is during election years. And the only times their enabling allies in the Old Media bother to join them in their ruse is during the heat of the campaigns. Now that the election is over, as we can see, they both revert to form. (But it is interesting to note that Dems are feeling dispirited. I doubt that will last long. I doubt that it will last beyond a few days into the budget negotiations.)