Friday, February 08, 2008

Straight Talk by Democrat Steve Olsen

Democrats preaching fiscal prudence -- Imagine that

Fantastic Op-ed piece in the Standard-Examiner today, by Steve Olsen of Plain City, former candidate for Utah's 1st District congessional seat. Lots of good stuff to perk up the ears of this lifelong Economic Conservative:

In early February, the Bush administration proposed a massive tax hike, following up on previous record hikes during its tenure to the most regressive, unfair tax in our nation’s history.

You may be asking right now: What planet is this guy living on? The Bush administration can be faulted for a lot of things, but raising taxes surely isn’t one of them.

The tax I’m speaking of is what I call the grandchild tax, otherwise known as deficit spending. Deficit spending is simply a deferred tax, and this tax is especially pernicious. Not only are the Americans who must pay it currently in diapers, but we’ve committed them to pay the interest on these taxes that will accumulate between now and when they start working.

The budget recently presented to Congress included record amounts of over $400 billion per year in deficit spending. This incomprehensible amount actually understates the problem, because Congress continues to use a dishonest sleight of hand by not including the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in the budget numbers. Add this in, and the deficit over the next two years probably will exceed $1 trillion.

By the time President Bush leaves office, he will have been responsible for adding about $5 trillion to the national debt, thereby doubling it — during a time of prosperity in which we should have been paying down the debt in preparation for the baby boomer retirement bubble that is inexorably heading our way. Rather than providing serious solutions to approaching government insolvency, we’ve borrowed to the hilt and created new, unfunded benefits.

It gets worse. [...]
And indeed it does... Read Steve's full essay here.

A mere ten years ago (except for the mention of GOP President Bush) the argument in today's article could have been the rant of any number of warhorse American GOP political figures, (directed at any number of Democratic party politicians), preaching the doctrine of government fiscal prudence and frugality, back then a mainstay philosophy of the Republican Party. Alas, the philosophical picture has changed drastically in the past decade, as Bush, and his pack of neoCON BIG GOVERNMENT SPENDERS have highjacked the political platform of the GOP Party, and turned the American political terrain (and economy) upside down.

Those of us who are fiscal conservatives shuddered when Dick Cheney said in 2002 that "deficits don't matter;" yet even then we could not imagine how horribly irresponsible Bush and his administration would become. In the ensuing years we've learned the sorry lessons of the Bush administration's misinterpretation of the lessons of Reaganomics. Once installed in office, Bush and his neoCON handlers made mincemeat of classic conservative economic policy. Like kids in a candy store, they were.

Now the Republican Party has become the party of reckless borrowing and spending; and now it's a few Democrats like Steve Olsen who carry the torch of financial prudence.

What a difference a decade makes.

Fantastic article, Steve. Thanks for reminding us that it's our grandchildren who'll ultimately bear the burden of reckless neoCON economic policy.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, gentle readers.


neodem said...

This is exactly why Olsen would be an excellent Utah representative -- much better than Rob Bishop. I hope Olsen runs again.

Dr. D said...


My dog would be better than Rob Bishop!

Jake said...

It's the new economic cycle, Rudi.

First, the Republicans run up the credit card bill, and then the Democrats get elected, and tax us all to the hilt to pay it off.

We citizens are just bystanders in this game that's run by the world bankers and world elite establishment politicos.

althepal said...

There's another tax besides the grandchild tax that Mr. Olsen failed to address sufficiently: Inflation.

When the government floods the economy with fiat money, paper money created solely by the government printing press, the natural result is inflation. As prices for goods rise, and the purchasing power of the consumer dwindles, the resulting deficiency is borne by the consumer immediately.

This predatory hidden tax on consumer spending power is NOT deferred to later generations.

disgusted said...

agree with your comment above but would add that the underfunding of the effort to reduce the deficit and inflation going forward will magnify the problem in the grandchild tax.

danny said...

Mr. Olsen,


No doubt, Bush has been a disaster, the full effect of which will not be felt until some more months and years pass.

But the democrats are better? Clinton was better, no doubt. But those who want less government should look to Democrats?? Kerry, Hillary, Obama all want more government, not less.

No, the elites have taken over both parties. Only an economic collapse will wash this rot from the system as it always does. Only that will convince voters to stop supporting people like Bush and McCain, and the democrats who are usually even worse. And only that will convince the good people of this country to stand up and run for office rather than staying away. Yes, I'm talking about many of us here. And I'm talking about me.

Like a wildfire cleans the prairie of the sage that clogs it, so does depression clean the system of the butt kissers and elites who take charge of it with time. Let it burn so the new grass has room to grow anew. It will be hard times ahead. But we will recover. And the sagebrush will be largely gone.

googleboy said...

Keynesian Chickens Coming Home

Jason The said...

It's a bit hard to take your "Democrats are worse" argument seriously. They (with the exception of Ron Paul) are the only ones fighting to get us out of one of the most prominent reasons for our rising national debt.

The War.

danny said...


No argument from me on the appalling war - the sole purpose for which is to raise the price of oil and provide other means to funnel money to Bush's main campaign contributors.

But typically, Democrats push for higher spending and more government than Republicans. At least, they used to. Republicans under Bush have been very nearly as bad.

Romney might have done better had he been against the war and Bush's spending. McCain lies a lot but he his a huge fan of big gummint.

When the collapse hits, people will wish they'd chosen Paul, instead of voting for the heir apparent candidate.

Curmudgeon said...

Saw "the Newt" speaking to the Conservatives convention in DC on C-Span this afternoon. Some good sense, some right-wing paranoia nonsense about "how deeply Marxist professors hate the America that gives them tenure," and then this very interesting comment. The Newt said conservatives did the Bush administration no favors when they meekly went along with presidential errors out of some misguided sense of loyalty, that conservatives would have served the president, and the country, better had they supported the president when he was right in a proposal, and criticized and fought him when he was wrong.

Well well well. Just about seven years late with that advice, Newt.

danny said...

Amen Curm.

Where are these a-holes when them and their fat mouths could do some good?

About like folks showing up to a bulldozed Mt. Ogden Golf Course two years after it was scoured and Chris "Beelzebub" Peterson left town and saying, "I didn't think this was a good idea. Didn't say anything, but I didn't like it. So I guess I was right."

Thanks for nuthin'.

But thanks to folks who do open their mouths and stand for something. They (or perhaps we) saved the golf course.

Unlike the useless, philandering Newt Gingrich SOB.

Bill C. said...

Aren't Newts amphibians? Can amphibians also be republicans?

danny said...

Go ahead and pile on us repubos.

Fact is, when I was active I went to a repubo convention. They blamed the democros for everything from teen pregnancy to the deficit.

Then I went to a democro convention. They blamed the repubos for everything from teen pregnancy to the deficit.

When I tried to discuss issues with folks, they weren't interested - only interested in bashing the other party.

That was the end o' my political phase. Maybe I'll run sometime so I can rip the party to which I'm speaking and all the people in the audience for being the problem. Now that would be fun.

Curmudgeon said...


The thing that matters is which party is in power at any given point and what they do with that power. Since Republicans are wholly dominant in Utah, all three branches of government, I'm afraid they have to take all the responsibility/blame for governmental action and in-action in Utah. And since the Republicans have had the Presidency for seven years and a docile Republican majority in the Congress until very recently, they have to take most of the responsibility/blame for national policy as well. If Utah had a Democratic lock on all branches of the government, they'd have to take the heat for what happened. Same on the national level.

I don't think "it's all the same, regardless of party." Politics does matter. There's hippocracy to spare in both parties, God knows, but there are also substantive differences. And differences that matter. In Utah. In the US.

Viktor said...

Yep Curmudgeon, there sure as hell are substantive differences in the parties, especially in Utah.

The Republicans are lying thieves, and Democrats are thieving liars.

The only chance the common folks have is when the two sides are pretty evenly balanced in any governmental body.

Curmudgeon said...


While I'd dispute, of course, your characterization of the Utah Democratic Party, I agree that divided government [meaning, at the state level, one branch of the government... House, Senate or Governor... being in the hands of the party not controlling the other two] generally provides the best government over the long haul.

Locally, I think Weber County would be much better off with a County Commission that contained one Democrat than the solid all-Republican commission we have now. And yes, if the Democrats become dominant, the Commission would be best off with two Democrats and one Republican.

One party government rarely works well. Didn't in the Soviet Union, doesn't in China, and won't in Utah.

Bill C. said...

Curm, though it may sound good to you, Utah is not really able to have a two party system by traditional political standards. Neither party will act without first casting an eye towards church headquarters.

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