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Letter: Republicans continue to spend like drunken sailors

Newt Gingrich and the 1994 congressional Republicans were the fathers of the Big Lie; they gave it life. The preamble of their crowning achievement, "The Contract with America," states, "That historic change would be the end of government that is...

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Newt Gingrich and the 1994 congressional Republicans were the fathers of the Big Lie; they gave it life. The preamble of their crowning achievement, "The Contract with America," states, "That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money." The progeny of the Big Lie can be found in every Republican policy and action since the Gingrich era. To avoid being accused of picking on the poor Republicans, I will confine my comments to their preamble, to their words.

Big Lie No. 1: That Republicans will reduce the size of government. Whether measured by the labor force or budget, the size of the federal government has mushroomed under Republican congressional tutelage. In 1994, the federal labor force averaged 2,179,300. By the end of 2005, it had grown to 2,706,100, an increase of nearly 25 percent. The 1994 federal budget was $1.53 trillion. On Feb. 6, Bush submitted a $2.77 trillion budget, an increase of over 80 percent.

Big Lie No. 2: That Republicans will reduce intrusion. Bush repeated this hypocritical nonsense during the 2004 campaign, stating, "Government should never try to control or dominate the lives of our citizens." Republicans disdain personal privacy, and are hell-bent on sticking their noses into Americans' bedrooms and hospital rooms. They dictate how we live and how we die, who and how we love; they want our personal, library and Internet records.

Big Lie No. 3: That Republicans are not "too easy with the publics' money." Not only do they spend tax money like drunken sailors, they have indebted our nation and mortgaged future generations. In 1994, the national debt was $4.64 trillion; the population was 260,341,000; average per capita national debt was $17,800. By mid 2005, those numbers had increased to $7.91 trillion debt, 295,734,000 population, and $26,700 per capita debt. The national debt is expected to top $10 trillion by the time we finally rid ourselves of Bush.

The "Contract with America" was a fraud. The policies of the Bush administration, fully supported by Minnesota's congressional Republicans, perpetuate the Big Lie.

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Paul Bartlett

Eagan, Minn.

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