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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M fans react after The Aggies win the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
The mad dash to Omaha
June 21, 2024
Some international students at Texas A&M have been struggling to pick up groceries because of limited transportation options from campus to H-E-B and Walmart on Texas Avenue.
Former A&M employee sentenced to 5 years for hiding restroom camera
The employee, who worked for Transportation Services, was sentenced Friday
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • June 24, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) shoots the ball during Texas A&Ms game against Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 at Reed Arena.(Ishka Samant/The Battalion)
Projected Top 5 picks of the 2024 NBA Draft
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • June 25, 2024

In the 2024 NBA draft, there is an incredible amount of talent available for teams to pick. We have players from college basketball, G-League...

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024
Eats & Beats at Lake Walk features live music and food trucks for the perfect outdoor concert.
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin Chen June 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
United they fall
June 24, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Kaiden Wilson (30) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Winner-take-all
June 23, 2024

What’s in a name?

 
 

In the next two years, with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, many have suggested that President Bush has a mandate to pursue his domestic agenda. With the election behind them, many fiscal conservatives are setting aside their enthusiasm for Bush’s victory and beginning to remember the disconcerting trend of government expansion over which he presided during his first term. In the coming days, Bush has the opportunity to return to the principles of limited government on which this nation was founded.
Under Bush, federal spending has grown twice as fast as it did under Clinton. According to the Heritage Foundation, spending reached $2.157 trillion in 2003, with a budget deficit of $374 billion. Legitimate defense spending in a post-9/11 world accounted for less than 20 percent of that amount.
Bush has taken many positive steps to cut taxes and to leave money in the pockets of those who earned it, but he has made little effort to pursue the responsible spending policies that such tax breaks necessitate.
In 2002, Bush signed a farm bill that will cost $180 billion over 10 years and increase agriculture spending by 80 percent. Since two-thirds of this goes to large businesses, the bill really amounts to agricultural corporate welfare. In 2003, he signed an expansion of the Medicare entitlement program that is estimated to cost $400 in the first 10 years.
Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act not only increases federal education spending by 65 percent, but constitutes the largest step in centralizing education in the history of public schools. It is an attempt to salvage a failing system by throwing federal money at the problem, which cannot hope to succeed.
Ronald Reagan once said, “A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” One of the problems with creating new government programs to address any real or imagined societal problem is that such programs do not go away when their need evaporates.
Unfortunately, Bush’s record to date consists of expanding the role of the federal government in his pet areas, while making little attempt to pare down its well-known wasteful spending.
The $80 billion per year that the federal government spends for corporate welfare, in the form of direct payments, low-cost loans or insurance and subsidized services, remains sacrosanct. The number of federally funded pork projects, such as endowments for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and $150,000 for a single traffic light, has skyrocketed. In fact, the federal government still cannot account for $17 billion it spent on miscellaneous projects in 2001.
Reducing federal spending is never an easy task, since even the most wasteful programs are fervently supported by their so-called beneficiaries. However, there are steps Bush can take to reduce the role of the federal government in the lives of Americans, even in today’s political climate that assumes entitlement so readily.
Bush needs to end his refusal to veto bloated spending bills, even when there are aspects of the bill he supports. Presidential veto power is essential to discourage Congress from tacking irrelevant and wasteful pork projects onto otherwise legitimate bills.
Bush should also seek to privatize those government programs that could be better managed in the private sector. According to the Heritage Foundation, taking small steps, such as commercializing the air traffic control industry and offering stock options for Amtrak to the private sector, could simultaneously cut federal spending and promote economic growth.
Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security is a step in the right direction. In a private system, individuals can plan for their own financial security, free from patronizing and restrictive federal programs. Additionally, a private system would ensure that the funds citizens pay into Social Security could not be squandered at the federal whim, and would eliminate many of the administrative costs inherent to the current system.
During his second term, Bush must choose either to stand for the principle of limited government that is the hallmark of a free society, or to allow America to continue drifting toward federal paternalism and socialism. He has said, “This young century will be liberty’s century.” The next four years will demonstrate whether he recognizes that true liberty means freedom not just from terrorism, but also from government.

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