Normally, when I reference the third presidential debate, I quote then-candidate Barack Obama on the “net spending cut” he contended he had been proposing “throughout the campaign”.
I don’t include the contradictory aspect of his response to moderator Bob Schieffer’s question about the “astounding” federal deficit; the Democrat both touts his “$750 billion rescue package” and insists “Every dollar that I’ve proposed, I’ve proposed an additional cut so that it matches.” Later, he insisted that increased spending is only temporary for, as I noted yesterday, he pledged, “once we get through this economic crisis and some of the specific proposals to get us out of this slump, that we’re not going to be able to go back to our profligate ways.”
In other words, just after pledging a pay-as-you-go approach to federal spending, he was hinting that he would favor a large increase in spending without compensating cut. But, that’s okay because we need to spend our way out of the “economic crisis.” (But, once we’re out of the crisis, we’re going to scale our spending back severely so we’ll avoid those profligate ways of the past.)
Now, Democrats are telling us we’re “in the midst of an economic recovery“, so, by the president’s on pledge, we shouldn’t be going back to the old profligate ways. His most recent budget, however, is even more profligate than those of the Bush era when, Obama contended, we were “living beyond our means”.
Could it be that the Democrats were merely using “the economic crisis” as a pretext for a permanent increase in federal spending? And that Keynesian economics just provides a theory to justify politicians who favor an ever-increasing public sector?