For those of us who want the federal government to shrink, the choice between Bush and Kerry is really a choice between the lesser of two evils as this article demonstrates. I would immediately point out that one third of the $3 trillion price tag is due to the tax cuts that Bush wants to make permanent. I think it’s misleading to include this in the “price tag” because it isn’t a “price” in the conventional sense. The federal government isn’t paying for that; it’s getting its income slashed. For me, this is nearly always a good thing.
The other two-thirds of this $3 trillion price tag is due to the Social Security reform he has proposed. If the reform is enacted, then current income tax normally earmarked for that bottomless money-pit known as Social “Security” will not go into government coffers but be reinjected into the economy via investments. The individual tax payer will own these investments, acting as the proverbial Nest Egg. So, while the taxes that normally would be used to pay for current Social Security benefits are being kept in the private sector, the government would still be paying for those still on the pre-reform Social Security roles. It will be an expensive transition, but if it results in saving Social Security, keeping more money in the private sector, and allowing individuals more choice, then I’m all for it.
Obviously, costs of national defense, stabilizing Iraq, and improving homeland security are thoroughly justified. If there’s anything I’m willing to pay money for it is the defense of our country. It’s large but necessary cost.
With all this being said, Bush has proven himself to be a big-government conservative overall, and this is disappointing.