Thursday, May 8, 2008

CFG Loves SG and Deficits

Few special interest groups take such pride in openly talking about how they buy politicians with campaign cash as the Club for Growth. They do raise a tremendous amount money, but with only 1145 donors they'd have a tough time winning a town council race if they could pool their votes as opposed to their cash.

Pat Toomey, Bully in Chief at the Club, explains the Club's rationale for taking out Republicans in an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal today (emphasis mine):

Conversely, many of the Republican candidates the Club for Growth's members have supported over the years are now leaders in the conservative movement and favorites among the party's grass roots. Sens. Coburn and Jim DeMint and Reps. Scott Garrett, Jeff Flake, John Campbell, Jeb Hensarling, Tim Walberg and Mike Pence are just some of the brave leaders who have led the fight for limited government and greater economic freedom.


A Republican majority is only as useful as the policies that majority produces.
Back in November I highlighted the CFG's policy goals. I double checked their website, and they haven't changed. As I've mentioned before a balanced budget and reducing the deficit play no role in the Club's stated goals. Here's how Toomey explained the rationale to Congress last year:

While shrinking the federal deficit is important, it is not crucial as an end in itself, but only to the extent that it serves as a means to another end—increasing prosperity and economic growth. At the end of the day, job growth, higher incomes, and gains in family wealth are more important than the number on the federal government’s ledger.
Since 2001, the Federal Deficit has mushroomed 63.3% to over $9.3 trillion . That works out to a little over $31,000 per citizen, and was equal to roughly 37% of the GDP last year. On a side note, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that Toomey seems to share Garrett's penchant for distorting facts (same link as above):

It is important to remember that the current deficit is only 1.5% of the Gross Domestic Product and decreasing by the day.
We spent $430 billion on interest payments in 2007, which was more than the entire non-defense discretionary budget. At some point, maybe during the campaign, Garrett and the folks at the Club would like to explain how it's beneficial to the taxpayer to have more than a third of their tax dollars going to pay interest instead of being kept in their own pockets.

Over a period of time, aggressively paying down the debt could lead to a reduction in taxes of 25-30%. Playing the same numbers game others do, this would reduce the "average" tax bill by between $2,700-3,300. Or, put another way, return around $300 billion a year to families without their children having to pay it back with interest and without loss of services.

This isn't even including any corporate cuts possible. How much could the economy grow with an extra $300 billion injected, per year? How many jobs would that create?

However, that's the sort of long term planning lacking with the cut and borrowers like the CFG and Garrett. It's unfortunate really. They love to beat their own chests, padding their personal checkbooks and campaign coffers by saying they're fighting the good fight to shrink taxes; when in fact the policies they advocate ensure taxes will always be higher than they need to be.


Anonymous said...

I am in the Fifth District and do not make over $100,000. I will be voting for Scott Garrett. Garrett is the only republican in New Jersey that represents me. I am for less government, lower taxes, and getting government out of my life. I cannot afford to live in this district anymore because of the high taxes. Why should hard working people who save and invest their money be taxed into the grave. Unlike most people I do not have a 401k plan and so most of my investment money is in taxable accounts. High capital gains and dividends taxes do affect me. I will never vote for a socialist like Barrack Obama or any democrat.

rmfretz said...

Thanks for the comment. I hope you come back. I'm for less government and lower taxes, too. However, I see it as a long term proposition. Garrett's votes make it more expensive, not less. His votes to cut money from things like Medicaid and Head Start place more of a burden on the State in one of the few areas where we bring more money back than we send down.

Remember, Garrett said it was immoral that we were only getting 65 cents back on the dollar when he campaigned against Marge Roukema. Now, we're getting 55.