By: Tim Collins
What would happen if you were to take a modern conservative and a 1940′a era conservative and have them meet? Chances are they simply wouldn’t get along. Modern day conservatives want smaller government, yet at the same time they want the government to legislate morality. They want fiscal conservatism, but don’t see anything wrong with increasing defense spending.
Many modern conservatives hang onto every word they hear from Fox News and conservative pundits. The new rally cry is to cut funding to PBS, NPR, welfare, etc. I thought it might be fun to do some number crunching based on research.
Amount Government spends on NPR and PBS: $500 mil
Amount spent on welfare: $9 Trillion or about $225,000 per person currently living in American poverty.
The above answer is accurate only if you define “welfare” as including all means-tested programs. This would include Medicaid, food stamps, student lunch programs, scholarship aid to college students, etc. This also includes Medicaid spending for the elderly in nursing homes or subsidized Medicare coverage, and for the disabled. Only about 16% of all Medicaid spending is for health care to poor, non-disabled families, so the answer varies depending on how you define “welfare”. (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities) And, of course, the answer to this question changes with each passing day.
If you only count food stamps, cash assistance, and housing is $167 bil.
Amount spent on defense: $1.49 tril.(Includes funding supporting vets)
Conservatives are painting the picture that America is hurting, and there is no denying that fact. Paul Ryan has proposed a budget that would cut funding for various government agencies and welfare, yet increases defense spending.
Now here is where it gets interesting, let’s look at how much our current wars have cost us.
Total cost as of September 2012: $1.38 tril.
Let’s think about this information for a moment…America is going broke and conservatives are crying about the funding of NPR and welfare. Remember the $9 trillion number includes things that many don’t think about when you say welfare. Average Americans tend to think of food stamps and Section 8 or HUD when they think of welfare.
Being a true conservative would see one want to put an end to these wars, make tough cuts all across the board, including defense spending. The money spent on NPR and the conventional wisdom of what constitutes welfare is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of war and money spent on defense.
When faced with a the closest thing to an “real” conservative like Ron Paul, the conservative establishment does all they can to pick him apart. He was called antisemitic for his views on Israel. Fox News and the rest of the establishment have disqualified him as president by the way they reported on his campaign.
Paul’s platform seems solid when you look at it:
- End the wars
- End the Fed
- Reduce defense spending
- Make tough cuts all over
- Stop policing the world
Here is a man running for president that actually understands what being a conservative means. He is a true Constitutionalist. He doesn’t just pick the parts he likes, he believes in the whole thing. His campaign has been beyond transparent when it comes to its spending. A recent financial report went so far as to include how much was spent on snacks at a gas station and even the purchase of music from Itunes.
He refused to accept Secret Service protection because he sees it as a from of welfare. By no means is Ron Paul perfect and not all of his views may not be right, but he comes the closest out of all of the other candidates to an old style true blue conservative.
At the end of the day, conservatives need to look at the history of their party, just as much as they like to bring up ties to the KKK with the old Democratic party. Dwight D. Eisenhower would be a bit shocked at what his party has turned into. Eisenhower understood America, he implemented the interstate highway, was a proud war veteran, and believed that everyone should have a chance to succeed in America.
Sadly, the 24 hour news cycle and billionaire media moguls have managed to distort what a real conservative is. Countless Republican presidents had the chance to kill welfare, NPR, PBS, and many other programs, yet they chose not to. Ronald Reagan never made a move to end any of these programs. Modern conservatives have managed to kill Medicaid but only in the safest way possible. Instead of killing it off right away, they chose to wait until the baby boomers had passed away. Why? Baby boomers make up the majority of those going to the polls. If the boomers lost their Medicaid over Republican changes, they would vote Democrat.
The younger generation have been left in a rut. They now must work until the age of 70 in order to qualify for retirement, they will most likely have no Social Security, Medicaid will be a memory, and they are too busy being apathetic to even see what’s going on.
One final thing to consider…The number of Republican politicians that supported the bank bail outs.
In the House 91 voted for it, 108 against it.
In the Senate 35 voted for it, only 15 went against it.
True fiscal conservatives would have viewed this as bad policy and voted it all down. Yet 124 Republican were for the bank bailout while 123 were against it.
Now let’s contrast this with the bail out of the auto industry:
In the House only 10 voted for it. 170 voted against it.
Seems a bit strange…fiscal conservatives support bank bail outs, yet see the Detroit auto bail out as wasteful.
I think it’s clear who owns the Republican party these days…the banksters. They own DC. Liberals and conservatives need to unite and fight to take back what belongs to the people. We need to vote for real candidates, not the ones that the media promotes the most. Only when we kick all special interests out of Washington, will the Republic be restored. We need another Dwight D. Eisenhower and we need him now.