RNCC: For Republican Socialist Policies, Against Democratic "Socialist" Policies

April 23, 2009 4:29 pm ET

The RNCC posted a resolution titled "Proposed RNC Resolution Recognizing the Democrats' March Towards Socialism."  However, the RNCC seems to have forgotten that, by their own definition, the Republican-led Congress and President George W. Bush instituted several "socialist" policies.  Where was their resolution then?

If Socialism Is The Expansion Of Government, What Do The Republicans Call Bush's Actions?

RNCC: "WHEREAS, the American Heritage Dictionary defines socialism as a system of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy; and..." [RNCC, accessed 4/23/09]

Under Republican President, Government Acquired Much Bigger Role In Economy. The Economist reported: "Mr. Bush now leaves behind a tax system in some ways less efficient than the one he inherited, in need of annual patches, and unable to fund the government even in good times. He also leaves behind a broken budget process...Reaganomics helped to produce a giant deficit. The financial crisis has made re-regulation rather than deregulation the mantra in Washington, while government has acquired a much bigger role in the economy through its backing of banks and car companies...The budget surplus he inherited is now a deficit, the fiscal hole in America's retiree programmes is bigger than ever, the tax system is an unstable, patched-up mess." [The Economist, 1/15/09, emphasis added]

Government Spending Sharply Increased Under Republican-Controlled Congress

1995: The Federal Government Spent $1.5 Trillion When Republicans Gained Control of Congress.  In 1995, when Republicans gained control of congress, the federal government's outlays were $1,560,600,000. [2008 Economic Report of the President, accessed 4/14/09]

2007: The Federal Government Spent $2.7 Trillion When Republicans Lost Control of Congress.  In 2007, when Republicans lost control of congress, the federal government's outlays were $2,730,200,000.  [2008 Economic Report of the President, accessed 4/14/09]

Government Spending Sharply Increased Under Republican President Bush

2001: The Federal Government Spent $1.5 Trillion When President Bush Assumed Office.  In 2001, when President Bush assumed office, the federal government's outlays were $1,863,200,000. [2008 Economic Report of the President, accessed 4/14/09]

2009: The Federal Government Is Predicted To Spend $3.1 Trillion On Bush's Holdover Policies.  In 2009, when President Bush left office, his administration predicted the federal government would spend $3,107,000,000. [2009 Budget Summary via Government Printing Office, accessed 4/14/09]

George W. Bush Approved The Decision To Distribute Tax Money To Wall Street

RNCC: "WHEREAS, the Democratic Party has outlined their plans to nationalize the banking, financial and healthcare industries; and..." [RNCC, accessed 4/23/09]

George W. Bush Increased Government Spending By $700 Billion In The Final Months Of His Presidency.  The New York Times reported: "President Bush approved a $700 billion measure to bailout American financial institutions in October 2008."  [New York Times, 11/5/08]

Warren Buffet On Bank Rescue: "It Would Have Been A Total Disaster If It Hadn't Of Passed." While discussing the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, billionaire financier Warren Buffet said, "I always said that I thought in the end the Congress would do the right thing on something this important.  This is not a panacea.  This does not solve all our problems.  It just would have been a, it would have been a total disaster if it hadn't of passed and it gives some tools to reducing the impact of this recession on the economy.  But it's not a panacea." [CNBC, 10/3/08]

The Practice Of Bailouts Started With George W. Bush

RNCC: "WHEREAS, the Democratic Party has proposed massive government bailouts for the mortgage and auto industries; and..." [RNCC, accessed 4/23/09]

Obama: Expansion Of Government Didn't Start On My Watch.  During an interview with the New York Times, President Obama was asked if he was a socialist.  He responded: "You know, let's take a look at the budget - the answer would be no."  Later that day, he called the reporter back to expand on his answer:

"Just one thing I was thinking about as I was getting on the copter. It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question. I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn't under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. It wasn't on my watch. And it wasn't on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement - the prescription drug plan without a source of funding. And so I think it's important just to note when you start hearing folks through these words around that we've actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles and that some of the same folks who are throwing the word socialist around can't say the same.

Q. So who's watch are we talking about here?

A. Well, I just think it's clear by the time we got here, there already had been an enormous infusion of taxpayer money into the financial system. And the thing I constantly try to emphasize to people if [sic] that coming in, the market was doing fine, nobody would be happier than me to stay out of it. I have more than enough to do without having to worry the financial system. The fact that we've had to take these extraordinary measures and intervene is not an indication of my ideological preference, but an indication of the degree to which lax regulation and extravagant risk taking has precipitated a crisis. I think that covers it." [New York Times, 3/7/09, emphasis added]

George W. Bush Was Insistent Upon Increasing The Government's Influence Over The Lives Of Americans

RNCC: "WHEREAS, the Democratic Party has passed trillions of dollars in new government spending, all with strings attached in order to control nearly every aspect of American life; and..." [RNCC, accessed 4/23/09]

Fact: GOP Presided Over the Largest Expansion of Government Since LBJ's Great Society. The Wall Street Journal noted the GOP's complicity in the largest of government since LBJ. "President Bush and the GOP Congress continue to preside over the largest expansion of government since LBJ's Great Society. Economic growth fueled by the Bush tax cuts created a 22% surge in federal revenue over the past two years. But even that flow is barely keeping pace with spending, which went up by 8% in 2005 and is set to increase by 9% in 2006. When the good times slow down, no one expects it will be easy to slam the brakes on spending." [Wall Street Journal, 1/30/06, emphasis added]

The RNC Forgets The Massive Federalization Of Education Under George W. Bush

RNCC: "RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee recognize the Democratic Party's clear and obvious purpose in proposing, passing, and implementing socialist programs through federal legislation; and be it further..." [RNCC, accessed 4/23/09]

No Child Left Behind: Unprecedented Government Interference in Education. The Washington Post reported: "President Bush's second-term agenda would expand not only the size of the federal government but also its influence over the lives of millions of Americans by imposing new national restrictions on high schools, court cases and marriages." [Washington Post, 2/9/05, emphasis added]

 "George Bush Has Gone Farther Than Any President In Terms Of Federalizing Education."  In 2005, Knight Ridder reported: "'George Bush has gone farther than any president in terms of federalizing education,' said Bill Frenzel, a former Republican member of Congress from Minnesota and a veteran budget analyst." [Knight Ridder, 3/30/05, emphasis added] 

Establishing "Socialist" Policies Is Only OK If The Republicans Do It

RNCC: "RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee recognize that the Democratic Party is dedicated to restructuring American society along socialist ideals; and be it further..." [RNCC, accessed 4/23/09]

The Largest Expansion of the Federal Government's Role in the Private Economy Since the Great Depression. According to the Los Angeles Times: "As the Bush administration attempts to stabilize the nation's economy, we are witness to the final chapter of a period of perverse and dishonest leadership that has used its own crises to justify the expansion of its own power... and now has embarked on the most profound expansion of the federal government's role in the private economy since the Depression." [Los Angeles Times, 9/29/08, emphasis added]

Republican Congress "Fully Complicit" in Explosion of Government Under Bush. The Chicago Sun-Times published an excerpt of Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government by Stephen Slivinski, director of Budget Studies at the Cato Institute.  According to Mr. Slivinski:  George W. Bush "and the congressional GOP leadership expanded government faster than at any time since the 1960s... The Republican-controlled Congress has been fully complicit in all of this and indeed bears much of the blame because it controls the purse strings. [Chicago Sun-Times, emphasis added 9/3/06]

RNCC - Confused About Socialism

RNCC: "RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party." [RNCC, accessed 4/23/09]

Obama "Proposals Will Raise Cries Of Socialism From Those Confused About What Socialism Actually Is."  In an op-ed published by the Boston Globe, Pulitzer Prize nominee Scot Lehigh wrote: "To move forward the way it hopes, the administration clearly needs more revenue, much of which the president plans to corral by letting tax cuts expire for upper-earners while raising their capital gains rate and limiting the tax benefit they can secure by itemizing. Those proposals will raise cries of socialism from those confused about what socialism actually is." [Boston Globe, 2/27/09, emphasis added]