May 11, 2007

Edwards To Grow The Federal Government By 36%

For those who believe the federal government has grown too large and its budget a threat to the nation's economic health. neither party has offered much in the way of good news over the last few years. The Republicans offered tax cuts while increasing spending at an astonishing rate for supposed small-government conservatives. The Democrats have been worse, wanting to rescind the tax cuts so they can spend the extra money they believe the new taxes will raise.

However, as bad as both parties have been, John Edwards promises something new and different. He promises to make it worse by adding so much new spending that it would create a budget 36% larger than FY2007, within just eight years:

Presidential candidate John Edwards is offering more policy proposals than any other candidate in the primary and his ideas are winning loud applause from Democratic audiences.

The question is whether other voters will cheer when they see the price tag — more than $125 billion a year.

Edwards is quick to acknowledge his spending on health care, energy and poverty reduction comes at a cost, with more plans to come. All told, his proposals would equal more than $1 trillion if he could get them enacted into law and operational during two White House terms.

To put the number in perspective, President Bush has dedicated more than $1.8 trillion to tax cuts. The cost of the
Iraq war is nearing $450 billion. And this year's federal budget is about $2.8 trillion.

Just to give a sense of perspective to Edwards' proposals, let's take a look at the recent history of the federal budget. Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation has updated his numbers from last year, and we can get a sense of the enormity of Edwards' spending increases. It has taken the US more than 16 years to add one trillion dollars to its federal budget; we spent $1,88 trillion in 1990, and we'll spend $2.8 trillion this year.

How long did it take us to grow the budget by 36% since 1990? Fifteen years, half the rate of the Edwards' proposals. We hit that mark in 2005, when the budget went to $2.56 trilion.

What about those Bush tax cuts, which have starved the federal government of revenue needed to solve all of the problems Edwards addresses? They haven't starved anyone. The rate of revenue has increased 22% in the three years following their enactment; in FY 2006, the federal government took in more revenue than ever before at $2.41 trillion, up from $1.97 trillion in 2003 when the cuts went into force. The tax cuts sparked economic growth that has added half a billion dollars more to Washington's coffers last year, and over $800 billion extra for the three-year period.

Anyone want to guess what the economy will do when the feds take back the cuts and pull all of that capital out of the market? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

In the meantime, while Edwards adds on more and more spending on more and more federal programs, he still leaves unaddressed the entitlement debacle that approaches closer and closer. Instead of marshaling resources to resolve the inherent economic dichotomies in those Ponzi schemes, he wants to make the problem exponentially worse by adding even more entitlement programs. Like most populists, he buys votes by promising to make things easy in the short run without even considering the long-term costs and fiscal health of the nation. After all, eight years later, it won't be his problem any more.

Edwards can't be considered naive -- he's dangerous to our financial stability. This is one class action that America can't afford.


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Comments (8)

Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 6:55 AM

I've said it before here and I'll say it again:

The Democrats cannot be allowed to govern again at the federal level during our lifetimes.

The really scary thing about the Edwards plan is that it completely fails to factor in the cost of oil at $200 a barrel due to a precipitous pullout of Iraq that leads to a greater Middle East War. Figure THAT into your multi-trillion dollar mess while you're at it, hair boy. Factor in a hamstrung economy too, a plummeting dollar, an unemployment rate double what it is now, falling revenues, crippling capital gains taxes, etc.

Boy, that makes ME want to vote for a Democrat in 08. How about you? Does anyone here think that we'll be able to pay for the Dems' "soft socialism" on top of Medicare and Social Security bills coming due?

And Edwards is the only one who at least admits the Dems are Socialists. The rest are even worse.

This country will not survive the Democrats being in power in '08.

Posted by sam pender [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 6:55 AM

Edwards has managed to pander his way into every demographic that can help him get the nomination, but he hasn't captured any. He's a jack of all trades when it comes to kissing electorate behind, but a master of none, and as such he's just a drain on the frontrunners funding, support, and airtime as well as as liability by making Clinton and Obama have to dance his jig every once and a while instead of carrying their own tune. The longer he stays in the race, the better it is for Fred Thompson.

Posted by stackja1945 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 6:56 AM

FDR's Social Security was supposed to only fund a few people for a few years then they would die. Now with longer life expectancy, a problem of too many and too little. Edwards thinks others in the future will pay. Like the old song Mañana.

Posted by Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 7:38 AM

It has always been the practice of the Democrats to control the purse and have the people depend on the govenment while sucking more money out of the pockets of the everyday worker.

Having that money to spend by the wage-earner is a sin to the Dems. Of course, a bureaucratic govt knows how to spend your money better that you do.......right Edwards?

Even while record revenues are pouring into the govt coffers, these idiots refuse to see what a free market driven economy is doing.

Want to go back to the double digit inflation and un-employment rates of the Carter years? Vote For a Democrat.

Posted by Boondoggie [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 8:00 AM

On the other hand, he's the Democrat I'd most like to see as their nominee.

Imagine a debate between the Breck Girl and Fred Thompson. Heck, even McCain would look good.

Posted by aynrandgirl [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 8:55 AM

If oil *is* $200 a barrel, state and federal excise tax revenues crash (nobody's buying gas) and state sales tax revenues crash (many can't afford to buy a new car). Income tax revenue also goes down as deductible business expenses rise. I still can't understand why Democrats have such a hard on for expensive euro-style gas.

Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 10:48 AM

What's this? The government is going to grow under this new potential president?

We can't have this -- Edwards would reverse all the shrinking that happened under Bush!

The last thing America needs is the fasting-growing government since LBJ.


Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 12:11 PM

"Edwards would reverse all the shrinking that happened under Bush!"

What shrinking?

Since Bush was elected, my portfolio has pretty much tripled. I've also tripled my salary.

Anecdotal evidence I know, but seems like pretty much everyone I know reports pretty good results.

In contrast, I haven't heard a single thing that Edwards will do that will maintain the low unemployment we've seen during the Bush boom, nor the high rates of growth (without subsequent inflation).

Democrat's saying the economy is bad doesn't make it so.