By Howard Rich
Have recent elections taught Republicans nothing?
Routed from power in 2006 and 2008 for their wholesale betrayal of the American taxpayers, the GOP was granted a new lease on life because Democrats chose to put Bush-era bailouts and deficit spending on steroids while forcing a socialized medicine monstrosity down the throats of the American people.
Yet scarcely a month after being handed control of the U.S. House, Republicans are already losing sight of why they were given another chance. In retreating from their commitment to cut $100 billion from the budget (which let’s face it — will barely make a dent in our $14 trillion debt) the GOP is demonstrating a fundamental but all too familiar lack of courage. Republicans are also refusing to address the entitlement behemoths of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — ticking time bombs that pose even graver dangers to our nation’s long-term solvency.
Such squeamishness is not surprising given the party’s recent pattern of backing down in the face of an ideologically inferior foe. In fact, I refer to this flight reflex as “going Gingrich.”
Riding a similar wave of limited government fervor in 1994, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s “Republican Revolution” promised taxpayers balanced budgets, less government and term limits — but quickly caved on all fronts. As a result the “era of big government” that Democratic President Bill Clinton promised was “over” ended up coming to pass — under GOP rule.
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