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Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 12/26/2012

Republicans need to attack Democrats on spending

The political debate is all about taxes, not about spending.  Republicans need to reassert the truth that we have a spending problem, not a taxing problem. Period. In the first two months of the fiscal calendar for 2013, the CBO reported, revenue rose by $30 billion when compared to the same period in FY2012.  But outlays increased by $87 billion over the past year, leaving a $57 billion deficit in October and November above our already large FY2012 deficit. Put another way, in comparing the first two months of FY2013 to the first two months of FY2012, revenue increased by 10 percent, but outlays increased by 16 percent.

What about that? Where is the news coverage of our explosion of spending? Who among taxpayers believes they are getting their money's worth today? Who is 16 percent better off today than they were a year ago? What about the fact that government income and government outgo are no longer related? We need a focused debate about spending this week and in 2013.

The left has had nearly complete success in eliminating stories from public view that feature examples of government spending gone bad. Every GOP member of Congress should have a personal favorite story to tell.  Instead, all the anecdotes seem to be about the "rich" and the unpatriotic greed they display by wanting to keep what they earn. I think too many Republicans suffer from the fatigue that follows from being relentlessly labeled a heartless soul when any government program funding is questioned. We have resorted to gimmicks instead of sustained revelations about the harm that is being caused by overspending. The ticking "national debt clock" at the GOP convention in Tampa was an oddity hanging in the corner rather than an illuminating tool.

As Sen. Bob Dole once said about some people's indifference to President Clinton's after-hours antics, "Where is the outrage?"  Well, people weren't that outraged about after-hours antics that didn't affect them. But one has to wonder where the outrage, panic or even concern is over the growing bills that our kids are eventually going to have to pay. Starting this week, Republicans need to be better messengers to get voters focused on the real problem. The nation has a spending problem worse than it has a taxing problem.

By  |  10:29 AM ET, 12/26/2012

 
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