Republicans Need To Get Serious About Government Spending

Republican or conservative ideals used to be very simple: limited size of government, limited taxes, more individual liberty. The interpretation of these ideals are expressed through various legislation, but the premise remains the same. But somehow, during the last four years and under a Republican president, the United States Congress has passed the largest spending bills in history. 

Over the past few days, as Congress struggled to find a compromise with the second covid relief bill, right-leaning talking heads focused on the incredible amount of foreign aid that could have gone to Americans suffering in the pandemic. The headlines and the comments, however, were misleading, making Americans think that the spending on foreign aid was part of the covid relief. The numbers were outrageous, and conservatives who are fierce Trump supporters called for him to veto the coronavirus bill. 

Herein lies the failure of Republican lawmakers during the past four years. While sweeping tax reform did pass during Trump’s first year in office, months later, he signed a trillion dollar spending bill. Republican lawmakers, with the majority in the Senate and the Congress, failed to then take the next step, which was to trim the fat off federal spending. Instead, special interest groups and lobbyists made sure their checks got cashed from taxpayer dollars. The government’s credit card continues to max out, and without serious reform, the number will most likely increase each year. 

There has been no time like the coronavirus pandemic to show the dire need for the government to scale back spending. While Americans need relief, we are now adding to an already absurdly large amount of spending. When we need to pass large bills to help with the economic shutdown, there is no money left to spend. Instead, we are just adding to an ever growing deficit. 

If the Democrats were in power, this would be a quick rallying cry from Republicans. But the Republicans have been in power. They had the power for two years to pass sweeping reforms. We have conservative leaders who are elected for their promise to reform Washington and give money back to Americans. 

For the next four years, it’s now too late. While Biden may take the lead and do what President Trump should have done, it is not part of the usual Democrat playbook. Instead, Trump has gone around calling every person who opposes him a “Republican In Name Only,” and Congress has gone right along with him. The election results show how his message, his legislation, and his policies connected with the American people. Republicans already lost the House in 2018, and are now positioned to lose the Senate. 

If we want to take back control in Washington, we have no longer can betray our core principles. We know they connect with Americans, and we have to have politicians back their rhetoric with actions. We have to read beyond headlines and viral tweets, and hold our lawmakers accountable. And if they fail, we have to take it to the polls. Republicans have four years to reform their message and reconnect with everyday Americans. The best part about this is that the formula is simple: less taxation and less regulation leads to job growth and innovation. But with this formula, we need to cut back government spending. Otherwise, Americans will be paying for it for generations.