When it comes to the federal budget, year after year, president after president, my congressman and friend Tom Cole is like the chameleon, changing to conservative red when a Democrat is in the White House and then liberal blue when an elephant occupies the place.
For example, when the biggest spending prez ever, Trump by name, proposed any spending, Cole was a firm yes, especially on defense. Now that Biden has taken over, Tom can’t quit criticizing Biden’s budget as excessive, although he lambasts the defense number as inadequate … even though it is an increase over Trump’s record outlays.
Say what, Tom?
Just because the letter behind the president’s name changes, priorities on spending shouldn’t automatically also do so. Health costs, defense, public safety, education and others tend to follow inflation-plus but one would think all bets are off if the party in charge of the White House changes. If an $18 trillion deficit is terrible under Obama, why is a $26 trillion one under Trump acceptable? Either both or neither threaten the future of our children and grandchildren but that’s not the way the partisans in DC now see things.
Just imagine in the private sector, say, in the car industry. For four years, you have a CEO that loves Chevrolet Tahoes and puts all the company’s resources into its development and production. Then a new guy comes along, hates that model, and he wants to go with his favorite, the Cruze, and refocuses everything to that effort. How long would that company last?
Not long. But the feds can print money, which pastes over their wayward ways and both parties delight in doing it but only the Democrats admit it. Cole and his conservative colleagues have actually printed more money since World War II than the allegedly big spending donkeys, and the elephants don’t even blush when doing so … presuming elephants can blush.
Deficits matter. So does consistency in governing. Only individuals elected by the rest of us can control either or both. What say you congressman? Do you care about either … or neither?