If I had to speculate on a single reason the democrats won Congress back, and why the republican base is at best unenthusiastic of late it would be because Bush spends tax-payer money like a drunken sailor on shore leave in Bankok...
WASHINGTON — George W. Bush, despite all his recent bravado about being an apostle of small government and budget-slashing, is the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson. In fact, he's arguably an even bigger spender than LBJ.
“He’s a big government guy,” said Stephen Slivinski, the director of budget studies at Cato Institute, a libertarian research group.
The numbers are clear, credible and conclusive, added David Keating, the executive director of the Club for Growth, a budget-watchdog group.
“He’s a big spender,” Keating said. “No question about it.”
Take almost any yardstick and Bush generally exceeds the spending of his predecessors.
When adjusted for inflation, discretionary spending — or budget items that Congress and the president can control, including defense and domestic programs, but not entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare — shot up at an average annual rate of 5.3 percent during Bush’s first six years, Slivinski calculates.
Fiscal conservatism is the cornerstone of the conservative/liberterian movement. When you have a president spending massive amounts of tax-payer money cloaked in the feel-good phrase "compassionate conservatism", it's a little hard to swallow that he's a conservative. It's as if they have succomed to the notion that voters have a price on their vote and the more you spend on voters, the more likely they are to vote for you. That's true if your base is composed of degenerate, shiftless, democrats. But those people will never vote republican, so you might as well stick to traditional conservatism and make your own voting base happy.
I realize the Bush tax cuts did wonders for the economy and that was great, but spending more because the government took in more taxes as a result makes as much sense as Al Gore's phony-baloney carbon credits giving him the right to live in several 10,000square foot houses and jet around the world on a whim. No wonder Hillary might be the next CiC...the republican base is so disillusioned with Bush the big-government conservative and all the congressmen who've signed on to that paradox. You cannot be conservative and dramatically expand the scope of the federal government. The two are mutually exclusive.