In today’s Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove calls the President to task for his big government, big spending economic plan, asserting “This is indeed the road to fiscal hell, and it’s been paved by the president and his party.”


Let’s get one thing straight: I am no big fan of the current administration’s economic policies. Their reckless spending is a very real threat to our nation’s future, and continuing to ignore the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security while adding new entitlement programs is the height of irresponsibility. I fear for the future that my children will inherit (Carrie has an excellent article on this that I highly recommend.)

However, it’s more than a little bit ironic for Rove to criticize the current administration’s “fiscal orgy.” Aside from one sentence –“Deficit spending did not begin when Mr. Obama took office” – there’s pretty much no mention of the “fiscal orgy” that Rove and co. actively promoted for the previous eight years. Anyone remember that Medicare Part D program? That… what was it called… war on terror? There were so many ridiculous programs added that expanded the size and scope of government, it’s a hassle to even list them all.

It’s difficult to underestimate the damage that the Bush 43 era wrought on the Republican brand. In a very short period of time, political operatives like Rove transformed a party that was once known for advocating small government, lower taxes, and individual liberty into one that was as opportunistic and profligate as their opponents. That damage is going to take a long time to correct.

The last thing Republicans need is to believe Rove when he says “Voters will have their chance this November to render their verdict on the Obama years. No wonder Republicans feel confident these days.” To get the country back on solid fiscal footing, it’s certainly not enough for Republicans to be the least-bad option. They need to stand for something – and, aside from a few members like Paul Ryan, very few have had the political courage to do that. Only then will we be able to correct the mistakes of the past – which were made by BOTH parties.

I don’t dispute that we’re on the road to fiscal hell – but I do question where that road began.