Is there really a difference between Republicans and Democrats?

By Tom Quiner

Cynics decry the political process.

Their snark: “It doesn’t matter who you elect. All politicians are the same.”

Not really. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is measurable. Legislatures spend the money. Spending bills originate in the House.

Let us look at the difference between parties when they controlled Congressional purse strings:

• President Clinton racked up average deficits of 2.5% of GDP when Democrats controlled Congress in his first two years.

• But he enjoyed an average of a 1% surplus when the Gingrich-led Republicans controlled Congress.

• President George W. Bush experienced deficits of 2.5% under a Republican Congress, and was roundly criticized for it by Barack Obama.

• However, under the Pelosi-led Congress, deficits exploded to 6.7%.

Democrats spend more, a lot more, than Republicans according to the data.

The deficit from 2007, which was the last “all-Republican” budget, was $160.7 Billion, for which President Bush and Republicans were roundly criticized by the opposition party.

The deficit increased by 8 times to $1.293 trillion under the first “all-Democratic” budget in 2010.

Democrats like to blame the “Bush tax cuts” for all the problems. Of course, that is disingenuous. Deficits were much lower under Bush, despite his tax cuts, than under the Pelosi/Obama agenda which increased spending at a breathtaking pace.

There are other differences between the parties. Let us set cynicism aside for a moment and accept that these two parties approach governing very differently. The numbers above point this out.

Perhaps this is why Governor Scott Walker so easily won his recall election in Wisconsin yesterday. He did what he promised he would do when he campaigned in 2010: he balanced the budget; he significantly reduced the state’s structural deficit; and by doing all of this, he provided property tax relief.

Mitt Romney and Republicans around the country need to talk to voters like they are adults and demonstrate this difference between parties. Adults understand that we have to live within our means. There are no end to potentially good programs for government to concoct, but ultimately, they become destructive when we can’t afford them.

That is a simple, winning idea as proven by Governor Scott Walker.